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3 reasons to float a lantern for peace

6Peace Lanterns mj.jpg
The annual peace lantern ceremony at Silver Lake Park starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with people making their own lanterns (kits are provided).

This Monday is the 33rd annual Peace Lantern Floating Ceremony, where approximately 150 paper lanterns will be launched across Silver Lake.

Event organizer Junko Maruta says the lanterns are a reminder of nuclear destruction, which is why the ceremony is held close to Hiroshima Day every year. "We want to remind ourselves and tell people what happened there," she said.

Besides serving as a reminder of past tragedies, the ceremony is also an opportunity for participants to commit (or recommit, since many attend year after year) to working for peace and complete nuclear disarmament.  

Still hesitant about dipping your toes (or lantern) in the water? Here are three reasons why you should float a lantern for peace this Monday.

1. Make your commitment personal

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Each paper lantern is made on-site by participants. Kits are provided for free, and the lanterns are simple to assemble and decorate. You’ll have about 45 minutes to make your lantern; by the time it goes on the water, it can be transformed into a personal piece of artwork representing your hope for world peace. Afterwards, light and launch it yourself (lanterns will be retrieved after the ceremony).

2. Embrace unity through drumming

Omni Drummers will be present to provide music for the ceremony. According to drummer and event organizer Kathy Donahoe, the drumming circle represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the universal connection between all people, regardless of race or culture. Get in on the drumming after the lanterns have launched and enjoy the lakeside celebration.  

3. Take a moment to focus

"Our world is so busy," said Judy Hoffman, who has been organizing the event for over 20 years. "At the peace lantern ceremony, we take a moment out of our busy lives to focus for a couple hours and remember our past and future."  

What: Peace Lantern Floating Ceremony

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6

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Where:East picnic shelter, Silver Lake Park, 705 E Silver Lake Dr., Rochester

Cost:Free

Related Topics: 507 MAGAZINE
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