A large crowd attended the 37th annual Lantern Floating Ceremony at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday evening under clear skies. A gentle breeze helped push a few hundred lanterns that had been created earlier that morning on the Arcata Plaza out across Klopp Lake.
Photo by Mark Larson
Messages of no-nukes, personal remembrances of loved ones, song lyrics, poetry and art work adorned the floating lanterns.
The original Japanese ceremony uses floating lanterns to honor the memory of departed loved ones and it has been adopted by present-day advocates to commemorate the World War II bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as to advocate for peace, nuclear disarmament and environmental sustainability. The local event was started 37 years ago by the City of Arcata's Nuclear Free Zone Committee. Arcata Mayor Brett Watson introduced the program and acknowledged local businesses who contributed supplies and time to help the Floating Lantern Ceremony Committee put on the event.
Music at the event included Rick Kruse on flute, the McKinleyville Community Choir, the Raging Grannies and Frey Wolhander and friends. Kate McClain and Lorraine Miller-Wolf shared readings from a book they received during a recent visit at the Hiroshima Peace Museum. See photos from the ceremony below.