The point of religion is to realize things for yourself, not to be taught. When you don't know how, the sangha will show you the way. Use each experience you encounter to awaken, and enlighten yourself. This is the key.”

Master Shinjo



Lantern Floating Hawai'i

Date: May 26, 2014, 6:00 PM HAST
Location: Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu

The 16th annual  Lantern Floating Hawai'i was held on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 on the shores of Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park. This year, an estimated 50,000 residents and visitors from around the world attended Lantern Floating Hawaii, offering a collective and symbolic moment of gratitude, harmony and remembrance, and sharing in the ceremony’s theme of “Many Rivers, One Ocean.”

For the past 16 years, the ceremony has been presented by Shinnyo-en Hawaii and Na Lei Aloha Foundation. At sunset, 6,000 candle-lit lanterns bearing remembrances and prayers were set afloat. In addition to remembrances written by members of the public at Ala Moana Beach Park on the day of the ceremony, more than 3,600 remembrances were submitted online from around the world.

The Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony was officiated by Head of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order, Her Holiness Shinso Ito, one of the highest ranking female Buddhist leaders in the world. Joining thoughts and prayers from around the world, the event included music and a ceremonial lighting of the Light of Harmony, leading up to the lantern floating. After the ceremony, volunteers collected every lantern from the ocean, which are then cleaned and refurbished for use in upcoming years. You can read news coverage of Lantern Floating Hawaii on our News page, and learn more about the ceremony at

While the basic elements of the ceremony are drawn from ancient Asian religious traditions, Shinnyo-en has adapted the ceremony, with their partners in Honolulu, to create a contemporary, interfaith celebration of and thanksgiving for the lives of the people who came before us and made our lives easier and richer.  For the history and reflections on the meaning of Lantern Floating Hawai'i, see Tricycle magazine's interview with Shinnyo-en's head priest, Her Holiness Shinso Ito.

The first Lantern Floating Hawai'i was held at Ke'ehi Lagoon on Memorial Day, 1999 and has grown each year in response to community demand. Shinnyo-en and the Na Lei Aloha Foundation have nurtured the community event as a vehicle for cross-cultural cooperation, understanding, harmony, and peace. Preparations for the ceremony engage hundreds of Honolulu volunteers each year.


Lantern Floating  Hawai'i 2013

Official Event Website

Visit the Lantern Floating Hawai'i website for local information and for instructions for participating in a virtual lantern floating for your own remembrances.




"Like" Lantern Floating Hawai'i on Facebook and keep in touch with developments both from Shinnyo-en and from the many friends of Lantern Floating.


Past Events


Follow Lantern Floating Hawai'i now, and don't miss the live tweets from Ala Moana Beach Park on Memorial Day.



Watch the 2014 Lantern Floating Hawaii Video online

Tricycle Magazine Publishes Interview with Her Holiness Shinso Ito

Lantern Floating Hawai'i YouTube

Drumming Beyond Oneself: Shinnyo Taiko Drumming at Lantern Floating Hawai'i