Tonight we attended the 11th Annual Lantern Festival at Forest Hills Cemetery right here in Jamaica Plain. This is the first time we’ve attended since moving to JP as last year I was violently ill at the time the festival occurred. This year we had just as good a reason not to go and that is the fact that a toddler should not be kept out past his bedtime. What could it hurt, I convinced myself, to just go around the corner for a little fresh air and fun, he’ll enjoy it. We paid the price in the screams of an overtired boy, alas.
If in good health and accompanied by well-rested children, the Lantern Festival is definitely a great event. Inspired by East Asian traditions, the Lantern Festival is a way to pay tribute to lost loved ones by decorating a lantern, lighting it and setting it afloat at dusk on Lake Hibiscus. “Drifting and flickering with the wind, the lanterns symbolize the soul’s journey when life ends.”
There is also a great variety of music and dance leading up to the floating of the lanterns including taiko drumming, gospel, and as we discovered among a dark section of gravestones, a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace.”
As an added bonus, here’s the best creepy movie you’ll ever see of a bagpiper playing in a very dark cemetery.
Forest Hills Cemetery is one of our favorite places in Boston and we’re members of The Forest Hills Educational Trust, definitely worth joining for their variety of arts and cultural events. Below are some previous posts I’ve made about Forest Hills:
- Forest Hills Cemetery Tour – Oct. 8, 2007
- Concert Review: Tunes, Tales & Tricksters – Jun. 2, 2008
- Photopost: Lake Hibiscus – Mar. 7, 2009