Memorial day in Hawaii is very unique because of all the significance of Pearl Harbor and about 40,000 people in the armed services. Memorial Day is a national holiday to honors all who have died while serving our country in the military.
In Hawaii the unique way we honor Memorial Day is with a large Lantern Floating Ceremony at Ala Moana Beach Park right outside of Waikiki. Lantern Floating Hawaii is put on by Shinnyo-en Hawaii, a school of buddhist, and the City of Honolulu. The event has grown from several hundred to over 50,00 last year.
The Buddhist community who puts the Lantern Floating Hawaii on hopes to honor loved ones who have died and generate a collective hope toward the future. The event is hosted by Her Holiness Shinso Ito, she is recognized as Master Shinjo the head of Shinnyo Buddhism. Her Holiness Shinso Ito performs a blessing of the ceremonial area, lanterns, all who are being remembered, and all who are participating.
The main attraction of this event is the lantern release. People who want to honor a loved one are invited to write a message and decorate a lanterns. If you would like to participate during the ceremony you can! The Lantern Request Tent at Ala Moana Beach is open from 10am to 4pm and is on a first come first serve basis.
As the sun sets people release the floating lanterns in the ocean. The Ala Moana Beach Park sunset doesn’t disappoint with the most remarkable painted sunsets. It is one of the most amazing spiritual events that you can attend.
People come from all over the world to experience the magnitude of this event. It is worth braving the crowds. Most people are very calm and respectful for the event. We hope that while you are here that you have the opportunity to attend this event. Ala Moana Beach Park is along the Pink Line on the Waikiki Trolley. If you are interested on learning how this will affect the Pink line please read the reroute blog.