Monday, May 25, 2009
Toro Nagashi (Lantern Floating)
Although Memorial Day in most places is about honoring the sacrifices of our brave Veterans; in Hawaii it is more than that. It is also a time to remember and visit gravesites to honor our family and friends who are no longer with us.
There is even a Floating Lantern Hawaii ceremony in Ala Moana for people of all races and religious affiliations.
“Lantern floating is a time-honored Buddhist rite, originating in Japan, conducted in order to pay respects to our ancestors and to comfort the spirits of the deceased. During Toro-Nagashi, or “lantern offerings on the water,” candle-lit lanterns are individually set afloat on the ocean and are said to ferry spirits “from the sea of delusion to the shore of salvation.”
Moreover, the lanterns carry our heartfelt prayers for those who have sacrificed their lives in war, victims of water-related accidents, natural disasters, famine and disease, as well as loved ones and ancestors who have passed away. Through the lantern floating ceremony, the sincere prayers of everyone are united… prayers for a future in which harmony exists among all people regardless of one’s race, religion or culture.
Because of this sentiment and goal, Lantern Floating Hawai’i has become accepted as more than just a Buddhist tradition, more than something only related to Hawaii in nature. It is a human thing."
It always saddens me to hear of religions who refuse to allow everyone to have their own beliefs, who believe their way is the only way...
I like the idea of the lantern lights in the water showing, even for just an evening how to come together.