This is the 12th annual lantern floating ceremony in Honolulu done over Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park at dusk. It started as a small affair in 1999 by the local Japanese Shinnyo-en. It has blossomed in a strong tradition in only its twelfth year. The beach was lined with thousands of people from all over the world with lanterns ready to be set afloat with the names of, and words written to their loved ones who have passed.
What is really special is that the Hawaiian culture has blended in with it, as hula halaus from around the island dance in the pre-floating ceremonies, with Hawaiian chants and songs. It is quite the beautiful event...
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The lanterns are of all makes. Some are made by a group for the masses, while others choose to make their own ornate lanterns. Groups associated with the ceremony paddle out on outrigger canoe (as seen above) the launch their own.
Once the ceremony is over, the lanterns are collected and recycled for next year.
On a side note: I've been super busy the past few months, and really miss posting here--as well as "e-interacting" with all of the wonderful friends I've made on Flickr, whom I've really come to appreciate. Will visit all of your streams later... Aloha!