Video courtesy North Hawaii Hospice, voice of Stephanie Salazar
KOHALA COAST, Hawaii: On Sunday, supporters of North Hawaii Hospice gathered at the Fairmont Orchid resort on the Kohala Coast, to participate in the second annual lantern floating ceremony.
The benefit event took place at Coconut Grove and included live multicultural entertainment: music, hula, Taiko drummers and Hawaiian chanting.
By sunset, Pauoa Bay was lit with hundreds of floating lanterns.
Katherine Ciano is the executive director of North Hawaii Hospice. She says its an emotional event for those who participate.
Ciano says the preparation can be just as therapeutic for those who are left behind as the moment of release.
Last year – the first year for the event in Kohala – was apparently well received. Ciano says North Hawaii Hospice received many calls of gratitude.
North Hawaii Hospice says lantern floating is an Asian spiritual tradition that symbolizes the 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. Hospice says 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.