Forest Hills Cemetery announced it will not hold the Lantern Festival this year, citing a need to examine the details and logistics of the popular event.
The Lantern Festival, drawing upon Japanese tradition, involves setting paper lanterns lit with candles and adorned with names of loved ones who have died adrift on Lake Hibiscus in the middle of the cemetery. The festival, which draws thousands of participants, has been held for 15 years.
A person answering the phones at the cemetery confirmed the festival has been canceled this year. When we have further comment from cemetery officials, we’ll add it.
Leadership of the historic garden cemetery has been taking a hard look at the arts programs that have traditionally taken place there. For instance, the popular Day of the Dead remembrance was discontinued in 2011.
The Lantern Festival shouldn’t be confused with the Lantern Parade, a Halloween event organized each year by Spontaneous Celebrations in which costumed celebrants walk around the Pond with hand-made lanterns.
[Editor’s note: The photo used to illustrate this post is from Paul Moody, who took it at the 2007 festival. For more of Moody’s work, please visit his Flickr page.]