Lantern Festival Lights Up East River Off LIC Shore

Residents gathered at sunset Sunday night in Long Island City to release these glimmers of hope out into the river for the Ecobon Floating Lantern Festival. The lanterns are made individually, each from reused materials.

The ceremony is modeled after a Japanese practice called Obon, which is a summer rite of remembrance. In this case, participants reflected on what they've done to help Mother Earth.

“Japanese families kind of have to account for themselves to their ancestors. This is a great way to beautifully account for ourselves in the environment and to really invite children in to do that and have children through drawing start thinking about the things that they want to preserve, things that they cherish,” said organizer Erik Baard.

Obon lanterns are also known to carry messages of peace.

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