Participating in the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony allows the Foundation guests to learn more about Shinnyo-en Buddhism and our Foundation, and experience firsthand a traditional lantern floating that honors the life of loved ones who passed before us.
Each year on Memorial Day, crowds gather in Honolulu, Hawaii for the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony. As Shinso Ito, Head Priest of Shinnyo-en, rings a bell, several thousands of people are invited to release and float their lanterns onto the shores of Ala Moana Beach Park.
The Lantern Floating is a traditional Buddhist ceremony, in which participants float lanterns down a river or in the ocean. This symbolic ceremony is conducted to honor those who have lost their lives in war or by other unfortunate events or disasters, and to honor loved ones who have passed away. It also carries with it a message of hope toward a harmonious and peaceful world. It is a collective experience with thousands of others where families, friends and even strangers extend warmth, compassion and understanding to support one another.
Shinnyo-en Foundation invites a small group of guests to attend the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony each year. At the Shinnyo-en Hawaii Temple, the guests are given the opportunity to tour the temple and attend the Foundation’s orientation to gain more understanding of the Lantern Floating, Shinnyo-en Buddhism, and our Foundation.
At the Shinnyo Lantern Floating, our guests are escorted to a tent where they may reflect on their loved ones and cherish the memories of their time together as they assemble their lanterns. While they walk into the warm water of Ala Moana Beach with their lanterns in hands, they also witness the healing and hope for humanity that many other participants express in their own ways.