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If you happen to be in the Honolulu area today, be sure to head to Ala Moana Beach Park for the annual Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony, hosted by the Japanese Buddhist organization Shinnyo-En. From LanternFloatingHawaii.com:
Every Memorial Day thousands of people gather at Ala Moana Beach Park for the Lantern Floating Ceremony led by Her Holiness Keishu Shinso, the spiritual head of Shinnyo-en. The ceremony remembers those who gave their lives in conflict, allows for reflection on the memories of loved ones and dedicates prayers for a peaceful and harmonious future. Just as the waters of the Pacific merge with each ocean, the wish for peace and happiness extends from Hawaii across the globe.
We invite everybody to take part in this meaningful event. The Lantern Floating is free and open to all regardless of nationality, race, faith or lifestyle. Each individual who takes part in the ceremony will bring their own unique life journey, memories, and hopes with them. Each personal experience adds to the healing and transformative power of the event.
40,000 people are expected to attend this year's Lantern Floating Ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. If you are unable to attend the event in person, you can watch a live streaming of the event for free here.
To learn more about Shinnyo-en Buddhim, check out Tricycle's 2010 interview with Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the head of Shinnyo-en. You can also read about Shinnyo-en's volunteer work on behalf of Japanese Earthquake victims in the Summer 2011 section of Good Work.