KOHALA COAST, Hawaii – Asia’s spiritual tradition of floating lanterns in memory of loved ones passed again came to the Kohala Coast this weekend.
North Hawaii Hospice held its third annual floating lantern ceremony at The Fairmont Orchid on Sunday.
After catering to tourists throughout the day, Pauoa Bay was host to a crowd of both visitors and locals.
Participants arrived at the resort’s Coconut Grove early, in order to prepare their vessels of devotion. Bud McBrien says simply decorating the lanterns brings back treasured memories.
It has been an emotional year for the family of Jon Salvador, his wife Gloria and daughter Julia.
As the sun lowered, the ceremony began. Taiko drums, hula, and Buddhist chant set he stage. Emotions were stirred by thoughtful readings. As the lanterns were lit, a Hawaiian ‘oli was performed.
Once as the sun set, the lanterns were released, slowly floating into the bay.
Organizers say the ritual is a wish for all beings to live in peaceful coexistence. As the lanterns are released onto the ocean, they take with them healing prayers to honor and remember those who have passed.
The event was a first for Texas resident Michele Pharr.
Mana Akana is originally from Japan. Currently a resident of Kailua-Kona, this was also her first time participating in a lantern ceremony.
Organizers say the lanterns are collected at the end of the release, the lantern bases are saved, and the lantern papers are collected, dried, and burned in a respectful manner.