On Friday, I attended the lantern festival at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain for their annual Lantern Festival. What a nice summer event to attend! My first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So many sights to take in and so meaningful. I took this excerpt from the pamphlet I received to share with you.
“The lantern floating ceremony is an ancient ritual that is practiced in various forms throughout eastern Asia. At this time in mid-summer, ancient tradition holds, a gateway opens to the world of the ancestors. During Japan’s Bon Festival, people light lanterns to invite ancestors to visit their families. Then, the lanterns are sent floating out to sea to guide the ancestors back to the world of the spirits. Prayers are offered so their souls may rest in peace. The lantern festival offers a way to remember departed family and friends. Through inscriptions on the lanterns and through the candlelight that transforms the darkness, we send our own messages of love, peace, and hope into the world to those we love.”
I couldn’t think of a better place to hold such an event. This cemetery is one of “America’s most beautiful garden cemeteries”. Lake Hibiscus is where they do the launch and you can see all the lanterns from around the entire lake! I will definitely be doing this again! Next year, I think I’ll invite more family and friends to come along too. It’s simply too beautiful not to share.
When you first arrive, you can purchase the velum for your lantern and then head over to a station where young ladies will paint your message of peace, hope, or love onto the lantern. The writing is an art form!
If you arrive early, there are performers for you to enjoy.While I enjoyed all of the performers,this girl caught my eye. I thought she was especially beautiful and the way she moved her hands was magical.
The sun was nearly setting at this point and I was drawn to the hands of the performers and the way the sunlight cast over them!
People are spread all over the grassy areas with their lanterns waiting for sundown. Touching messages of loss that seem to tie everyone together for one night. The launch begins!