Daily Photo / Hawaii / Hawaii Events / Top Picks by Brickberry

Top 3 2013 Moments: Floating Lantern Hawaii

I seem to be picking my Top 3 2013 moments based on the intense feelings I had while experiencing these sights. Seeing snow on Mauna Kea and traveling with Jake for the first time definitely had my heart aflutter and got the travel bug in me worked up.

The next moment in 2013 that I don’t think I’ll ever forget happened during theΒ Floating Lantern Ceremony. It’s held every Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park, and you see the coverage on TV, but if you go in person you can literally feel the emotion in the air.Β I definitely wasn’t expecting to leave so touched.

You try to squish your way through the crowd and find a little patch of sand to lay down a towel or mat so you can look up at a big screen that lets you see what’s taking place on stage. You see footage from last year’s ceremony.

You see people crying. Hugging. Some unpackaging leis to set afloat with their flickering lantern and messages of memorial.

…did you bring the lighter?

You’d think amongst the madness you’d find some kind of chaos, an angry crowd…but all I felt was calm.

The ceremony this year was greeted with the most beautiful sunset.

My mom and I didn’t make a lantern. After the crowd thinned she pulled out some leaves from her purse. At the time my brother had just graduated from high school. He never met my grandparents, and I hardly remember them. The leaves were from the maile lei we gave him at his graduation.

She wanted to show her parents how far he had come.

My mom wrote down three names, one per leaf, and set them afloat. Two for her parents, and one for my dad’s father.

We watched them float away with the rest of the lanterns and I couldn’t help but cry. It’s like sending a piece of your soul out on a journey that you didn’t know you had. And then in that second you just know how everyone else is feeling, and it’s like you’re all connected in this emotional process.

It’s one of the most touching things I’ve ever witnessed.

**My TripTease on this post has been chosen as an Editor’s Pick! Check it out here!

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