Lantern Project 2020!

Thanks to everyone who has returned their completed lantern sides!

Due to the current pandemic, our Obon Festival at the Playtrail has been postponed. However, we are still doing all we can to keep our Obon Family connected, and we are delighted to announce our Community Lantern Project!

The highlight of our Foyle O-Bon festival each year is the beautiful lantern ceremony that brings the evening to a close. Lanterns are at the heart of the traditional Japanese festival of Obon during which it is believed the spirits of our ancestors return to earth for a while and are welcomed and guided by these lights.

This year we were unable to have our festival, but we are determined to keep our lanterns burning and keep bringing our community together. With your help, we will create a beautiful display of lanterns at the Playtrail which we will light, film and broadcast to our whole O-Bon Family so that we can share this gorgeous expression of hope and creativity in these uncertain times. A virtual Obon!

We invited our Obon family and friends to decorate a lantern side which will then be used as part of the ceremony. Packs were sent out and Zoom draw-a-longs were held. Here is our own Fiona with her handy “How to” video! We were overwhelmed with the response, you can see some of the results in the photos above.

The next stage is for us to make up all the lanterns and then get together with The Playtrail to put the amphitheatre together and have our beautiful, socially distanced, lantern ceremony. This will be filmed and you will all be able to share in it. We can’t wait! Huge thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund for Northern Ireland for supporting this project.

Stay safe everyone #taikolove