Following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, one of Hawaii Island’s most cherished events is returning to the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani Resort on Sunday, August 28 from 5pm to 7pm.
Lanterns are used around the world in ceremonies to honor loved ones who have passed and to foster peace, hope and healing. Known as Toro Nagashi (lantern offerings on water) in Japan, it’s a long standing tradition there. In partnership with North Hawai‘i Hospice, the Fairmont Orchid will release the floating lanterns into Pauoa Bay, fronting the hotel. In addition to the sunset lantern release into the bay, the evening event will include live music, hula, taiko drummers and Hawaiian chants.
“I can’t imagine a lovelier way to acknowledge people we’ve loved and lost,” Katherine Werner Brooks, executive director of North Hawai‘i Hospice, says. “As lanterns are released, they take with them our healing prayers to honor and remember those who have passed.”
Fairmont Orchid General Manager Charles Head adds, “The significance of this event takes on a whole new meaning after everything we’ve experienced these past couple of years. The festival is a beautiful way to honor and remember our loved ones.”
There is no fee to attend the festival; floating lanterns for inscribing messages and attaching decorations are provided for a suggested donation of $20. Food and beverages also will be available for purchase. Complimentary self-parking is available with carpooling is encouraged.
The hotel takes great care in collecting the lanterns following the ceremony and the bases are saved for future festivals. The papers covering the lanterns with the inscribed messages are disposed of in a respectful manner.