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15th annual Lantern Festival set for July 18 at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 3, 2013 02:19 PM

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(Courtney Regan / paintbypixels.com)

The 15th annual Lantern Festival is set for Thursday, July 18, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The popular event at Lake Hibiscus in Forest Hills Cemetery is run by the Forest Hills Educational Trust.

“A much-loved community event for Jamaica Plain, as well as Greater Boston, the Lantern Festival draws its inspiration from the Japanese [Buddhist] Bon Festival -- a celebration each year when a door opens to the world of their ancestors allowing loved ones to send messages to the other side,” the group said in an e-mail. “It is a time when neighbors come together to share stories, celebrate, and honor the memories of loved ones.”

The festival will feature traditional Japanese dance from students of Showa Boston, Irish music from guitar and fiddle duo the Whiskey Boys, gospel music from Ron Murphy, and Grand Master Tsuji's Taiko drummers, the e-mail said.

Admission is free.

A key part of the ritual is sending out memorial lanterns on water. A $10 donation is requested per lantern.

Parking costs $10. Attendees are encouraged to use public transit and to also bring a flashlight.

The group said in an e-mail that it needs volunteers. There are two volunteer shifts: from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Volunteers will receive free parking and a free lantern, according organizers. Those interested should e-mail Jonathan Clark at j_clark@foresthillstrust.org.

A rain date for the festival is scheduled for the following Thursday, July 25.

For more information, visit www.foresthillstrust.org or call 617.524.3150.

To see photos from past festivals, click here.

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