Japanese Lantern Festival

Japanese Lanterns

Just like the Chinese, the Japanese also have their own Floating Lantern festival. Their festival to celebrate lanterns to called Toro Nagashi, Toro meaning lantern.

The Japanese Floating Lantern Festival is in honour of Obon. Obon is a traditional cultural and family Japanese holiday each summer when departed loved ones are commemorated with the release and display of various types of lanterns; flying lanterns, floating lanterns, hand-held lanterns, hanging lanterns, sky lanterns and sculpted lanterns. It is believed the Japanese lanterns would guide spirits to a final, safe, happy resting place.

During the festival people would write the names of their loved ones on the lanterns before releasing them. Sometimes messages and drawings would also be attached to the sky lanterns. In other cases floating lanterns would be released to flow on rivers or float in lakes, often the floating lanterns would also contain wishes and memories.