Monday, July 14, 2008

Lantern fest at Forest Hills Cemetery Thursday

Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston holds its 10th annual Lantern Festival from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 17. Visitors are invited to make paper lanterns and set them afloat on the cemetery’s Lake Hibiscus at sunset.

The Forest Hills folks explain:
“This ritual is based on the traditional Japanese Bon Festival, a time when a door opens to the world of the ancestors, allowing us to send messages to the other side. People enjoy picnics on the grass and a multi-cultural program of music and dance. They decorate their lanterns with calligraphy and notes to those who have died. At sunset, a candle is lit in each lantern, and the glimmering lanterns are set afloat. Drifting and flickering with the wind, the lanterns symbolize the soul’s journey when life ends.”
Also featured: gospel singer Ron Murphy, Master Tsuji’s Samurai Taiko Drummers, and students from Showa Institute and Chu Ling Dance Academy.

Admission is free, but there’s a $10 parking fee (take the T). And a $10 donation is requested per lantern. If weather doesn’t cooperate Thursday, the event will be postponed to July 24.


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