japanese lantern lighting festival - como park st. paul, mn
I went to the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival at Como Park in St. Paul, MN last Sunday. The afternoon long activities ended at dusk when paper lanterns were lit and floated across the Frog Pond in front of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.
This event takes place every August on the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory grounds in a tribute to Japan's annual Obon Holiday. Buddhist tradition says that during Obon ancestral spirits revisit their families for three days. Many Japanese will return home to pay their respects at grave-sites and often paper lanterns are lit and floated down the river to help guide the spirits.
This year took on special significance as everyone remembered those lost in Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami disasters.