Looks like a spectacular event happening this Thursday night. I have never been but have always wanted to...Have you ever been? Let us know what to expect by commenting here if you can. Carrie Wattu, editor
PHOTO CREDIT: Elizabeth Pell
On Thursday, July 15th, the Forest Hills Educational Trust will present the
12th Annual Lantern Festival, a profoundly moving ceremony of remembrance
attended by over 4,000 people. Each year participants make paper lanterns
for family or friends who have passed away decorated using calligraphy and
inscribed with personal messages. The lanterns are then set afloat on the
peaceful waters of Lake Hibiscus at sunset where they remain aglow long into
12th Annual Lantern Festival
Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Ave
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-3714
Date: Thursday, July 15, 6-9 pm
Rain Date: Thursday, July 22
Admission: Free with a $10 donation per lantern: Parking $10. We
encourage visitors to take the T. There is No Lighting after dark; please
bring a flashlight to assist with your departure.
The Lantern Festival, sponsored by the Forest Hills Educational Trust, draws
its inspiration from the Japanese Bon Festival-- a celebration of the time
of year when a door opens to the world of the ancestors allowing loved ones
to send messages to the other side. In Japan, Bon has evolved into a holiday
of both reunion and celebration. Family members return to their hometowns to
show respect for their ancestors by tending their graves, decorating them
with flowers, and making food offerings. In the town squares festivities
include traditional Bonodori dancing, games, and summer festival foods.
Now in its 12th year at Forest Hills Cemetery, the Lantern Festival has
become a important community event for Jamaica Plain, as well as Boston in
general. It is a time when neighbors come together to share stories,
celebrate, and honor the memories of their loved ones. Although the Lantern
Festival is inspired by Japanese Buddhist tradition, it incorporates the
diversity of the community that provides its setting and includes many
multi-cultural events throughout the day.
A diverse program will be presented including Gospel music, Japanese taiko
drumming, and a variety of dance performances. Picnic spreads will be
plentiful across the lush 250-acre landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery;
designed to be a park and arboretum, in addition to a place of rest, it
provides the perfect setting for the Lantern Festival.
The glowing lanterns afloat at sunset symbolize the journey of the soul at
the end of life & the ancestral spirits' return to the world of the dead
after a day of remembrance, reunion, and celebration.