Each year my brother Dan records and sends me videos of the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo. When those tapes arrive I pull the phone jack out of the wall, pour a double bourbon and immerse myself in Hawaii for several hours! In addition, each year Dan also records the Annual Lantern Floating ceremony for me and when that tape arrives then phone-jack, bourbon, immersion. Heaven! Ceremonies are a way of making a reality present for those celebrating it. To that end the Lantern Floating ceremony makes present to each other both the living and their departed beloved. This year some words of the commentator caught my attention, “The flickering lights of the lanterns symbolize the joyous exchange between our hearts and theirs”.
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