Last year, we attended Lantern Floating to honor the life of a dear friend we had lost the previous year. This year, we went to pay tribute to Shake’s mom, who we lost last fall. She never went to any of the Lantern Floating ceremonies, but she liked to watch them on TV. (You can watch this year’s ceremony broadcast online.)
Funny, she used to say that she wished they would show more of the lanterns floating in the water during the program, and less of the “other stuff” they include in the program. There are usually more entertainment performances (singers, dancers, drummers), but this year it seems like they cut back specifically to have more time for the lantern floating. Just what Mom wanted.
It was unusual to us to see the lanterns launched before the sun had fully set; in other years, the lanterns were set afloat right as the sun set. It certainly made for some vivid photographs, though.
I took fewer photos this year than I did the previous year; you can see the rest of them in the gallery.
Where do we go after this life? I have an image of a place that I’d like to go when I die, and I believe that many people have different ideas about where they want to go. And I think that is okay. The purpose of the water consolatory service and the lantern floating is to help people get where they want to go.
– Her Holiness Shinso Ito, Tricycle Magazine interview
A wish for peace and harmony for us all in this life and beyond.