Thursday, June 3, 2010

Aloha Day 2 - ehu ahiahi

After our day at the beach, we came back and changed for the evening. We called a taxi to take us to the Ala Moana Park for the Memorial Day Lantern Festival. The roads were blocked due to pedestrian traffic so the taxi driver let us out across the street, in front of the Ala Moana Mall. Indeed, there were many many people. Over 40,000 they say.

We wove our way in and out of the onlookers and got a spot up close to one of the big screens, just as the ceremony started. The ceremony was beautiful and strongly asian influenced. The crowd was anything but one influence. There were Korean, Japanese, Hawaiian, Anglo, African American, and everything in between. We were all there for One Love. One Life (or maybe a few) that we were honoring and remembering. Some died in wars, some died from cancer or disease, some died suddenly, but their spirits were felt there that night. They sang, we prayed, and one by one, the lanterns were released into the sea carrying hand written messages for those lost loved ones. It was very emotional and powerful and I am thankful to have been there. The figurative expression for dusk in Hawaiian, I learned, is ‘ehu ahiahi – “the dust of the evening”, also signifying twilight and old age.

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