Forever In Our Hearts

Uploaded 8 Jun 2015 — 9 favorites
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© mark yugawa
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 9, 2015
TakenMay 26, 2015
ModelCanon EOS 6D
Exposure1/30 sec at f/6.7
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length16 mm
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This is annual Shinnyo-en lantern floating ceremony held here in Honolulu every Memorial Day. The ceremony started here in 1999 with a few hundred people and now has over forty five thousand plus people that attend (this year 47,000+.) The ceremony is for remembrance and reflection for loved ones that have passed. If you're lucky enough to get one of the individual lanterns, you can decorate it in any way you'd like. If you don't get one of the individual ones, you can also write a short note that's adhered, along with notes from other people, to a lantern...the amount of notes are also limited.

This is the first year that I've been able to attend since I'd normally be working but was lucky enough to go this year. I suffered a major loss of my longtime spouse in the beginning of May and it meant a lot to be able to write out a message and have it affixed to one of the lanterns. I was one of the last ones in line to be able to write out a note so was extremely lucky.

When it's time to release the lanterns, there are thousands of people standing on the shoreline waiting to release their lantern. There are also hundreds of people standing in the water, right off of the shore, to get pictures of the event. I wanted to be far enough out so I didn't have anyone standing in front of me and being in the shot. I was one of the farthest ones out, standing in chest deep water.

After the event, all the lanterns are gathered up, the paper removed and burned at the buddhist temple, and the wood bases are stored to be used again next Memorial day. This event is totally free to attend and the lanterns are free as well.

I'm pretty sure I'll be working as usual next Memorial day so this is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and it came at the right time.

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