Volunteers hold lanterns as they get prepared to set them out to open water at Ala Moana Beach Park.
Every year Shinnyo-En Hawaii, and the Na Lei Aloha Foundation come together to host a Lantern Floating Festival held on Memorial Day. Lantern floating is an Asian spiritual tradition that beautifully symbolizes the wish for all beings to live in peaceful coexistence. As the lanterns are released onto the ocean they take with them written prayers and/or messages for victims of conflict, famine, disaster and disease as well as hopes for the happiness of all past and present. The event is sponsored by Na Lei Aloha Foundation and officiated by the Shinnyo-en Buddhist sect. More photographs after the jump.