More than 40,000 people watched about 2,000 floating lanterns drift to sea last night from Ala Moana Beach during the 12th annual Lantern Floating Ceremony themed "Many Rivers, One Ocean."

The Lantern Floating Ceremony is organized by the Na Lei Aloha Foundation and officiated by the Buddhist sect Shinnyo-en. It is an Asian spiritual tradition held in Japan at the end of summer as a conclusion to the Obon festival, honoring ancestors that symbolizes the wish for all beings to live in peaceful coexistence. As the lanterns are released onto the ocean they take with them healing prayers for victims of conflict, famine, disaster and disease as well as hopes for the happiness of all; past, present and future.