Imagine watching hundreds of personalized floating lanterns released into the Western Canal, as you enjoy Lowell's diverse music, traditions, and food. This is the Points of Light, a spring celebration of unity and renewal set to take place the evening of April 22, 2017.
In Japan, participants float paper lanterns in memorial during Tōrō nagashi. In Thailand and Laos, people celebrate Loi Krathong by floating a small boat with a candle. In Cambodia, it is the festival of Bonn Om Teuk. In India, a religious ceremony includes candles floated on the Ganges. Lichterswimmen has occurred in Zurich for over half a century, and floating candles is part of a Slavic holiday, Kupala Night. Freetown in Sierra Leone celebrates an annual lantern parade. In Puerto Rico, candles are important parts of many Saint's Days.
This was even a tradition in Lowell, kicking off the Southeast Asian Water Festival for many years. A DIY Lowell group is bringing it back, using lanterns to symbolize the common thread throughout all our cultures. Lantern Decoration Days will happen throughout late March and April, leading up to the celebration.
More on the history of Lowell's Ecumenical Plaza from LHS Vice President James Ostis on RichardHowe.com:
Ecumenical Plaza: A Model Project for a City’s Revival