Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a lantern?
Those wanting to personally float a lantern will be able to receive a single Individual Lantern at the Lantern Request Tent on the day of the event starting at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Please have aloha for others who would also like the opportunity to remember their loved ones.Sharing one lantern per family or party will make it more likely for as many who would like to float a lantern to receive one. Many names and messages can be carried on a single lantern and the experience of sharing this lantern with your family and friends can add to the feeling of oneness we hope to create through this ceremony.
Please also see the How to Participate page for detailed information
Do I need to volunteer in order to float a lantern?
No. In fact, those who are volunteering on the day of the event are not allowed to float a lantern for themselves. If you are interested in floating a lantern, please see above.
How many lanterns will be floated?
This year, there will be over 6,000 lanterns.
Can I bring my own homemade lantern to float?
Out of concern for the safety of participants and the environment, we ask for your kind cooperation to not float homemade lanterns. Our lanterns are tested for flammability in all weather conditions and are designed in conjunction with special lines strung across the water to ensure they will not float out to sea. There are many ways to be a part of the ceremony, whether by receiving an Individual Lantern or writing remembrances that will be included on the Collective Remembrance Lanterns. Please do not bring homemade lanterns.
I would like to participate, but I cannot be there to float. What can I do?
There are many ways that you may participate either by writing your remembrance at a local Shinnyo-en temple or training center or submitting it online through this website. Please see the How to Participate page for detailed information.
How much does it cost to participate?
There is no cost to attend, place a remembrance on a lantern, or float a lantern. However, voluntary donations received on the event day will be gifted to the City & County of Honolulu for the beautification of Ala Moana Beach Park.
Where can I park?
Free event parking is available at the Hawai'i Convention Center from 7:00 a.m. - midnight.
A complimentary shuttle will transport passengers from the Hawai'i Convention Center to Ala Moana Beach beginning at 3:30 p.m. then back to the Hawaiʻi Convention Center from 7:45 p.m.
Will it be on TV or streamed online?
The ceremony will be broadcast live on Hawai‘i News Now KGMB from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
We will also be streaming live on this website from 6:00-7:30 p.m. HST (-10 UTC)
If you are unable to join us live, you will be able to view the ceremony in its entirety on this website after the event.
How else can I get involved?
We welcome all to be a part of our volunteer ʻohana. Volunteers assist in preparing lanterns beginning in the spring, to various duties on the event day and in June for clean-up. Each step is carefully done with reverence for those being remembered as well as those who are honoring them. To become part of our volunteer 'ohana, fill out a Volunteer Inquiry Form and we will contact you.
What are the different kinds of lanterns?
Six large Parent Lanterns carry prayers for all spirits on behalf of all people. Prayers are offered for victims of war, water-related accidents, natural and manmade disasters, famine and disease. Gratitude is offered for all - even endemic, endangered and extinct plant and animal life. These lanterns are floated with the hope of encouraging harmony and peace.
Collective Remembrance Lanterns are the original wooden-framed lanterns that were made by Shinnyo practitioners in the early years of the event and are refurbished each year. Remembrances and prayers that are received ahead of time from around the world and also from those who choose not to float an individual lantern are placed on these lanterns and floated by volunteers from the canoes and from shore.
Individual Lanterns are distributed on the event day, one per family or party. There are three sides of the lantern that are available for writing multiple remembrances. Those receiving an Individual Lantern will personally place the lantern into the water during the ceremony.
Who makes the lanterns?
The original wooden-framed Collective Remembrance Lanterns were made by Shinnyo practitioners in the early years of the event. In the spring, Shinnyo practitioners, individual volunteers and groups from schools, businesses and organizations contribute their efforts to carefully prepare these and the Individual Lanterns for the event day.
What happens to the lanterns after the ceremony?
Every effort is made to retrieve every lantern from the water. The lanterns are cleaned and stored for refurbishment in future years. Remembrances and prayers are removed and handled in a proper and spiritually respectful way.
Are lanterns available for purchase?
The lanterns are not available for purchase as they are made specifically to carry the remembrances and prayers at the Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony and are refurbished for reuse each year. Thank you for your understanding.