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Commemorative
Lantern Festival

Special Ticketed Event — Both members and non-members must have a pre-purchased Eventbrite ticket to attend. Children under age 3 do not need a ticket to attend.  

Member tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. There will be a limited number of member price tickets so purchase early to avoid disappointment.

Public tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.  Tickets are non-refundable. 

Tuesday, September 15, 6-9 p.m.
Wednesday, September 16, 6-9 p.m.
Thursday, September 17, 6-9 p.m.

The Commemorative Lantern Festival was inspired by the Japanese ceremony, Tōrō Nagashi with floating lanterns. Traditionally, this ceremony honors the memory of loved ones. Floating lanterns at the festival showing the lake at night with votive candles. Image by Tom Hennessy

On this evening from 6 – 9 p.m., enjoy contemplative live music, meander the paths of the Central Garden and Cherry Tree Walk to discover self-reflective prompts, and enjoy food and beverages for purchase. As dusk falls, observe the tranquil scene of floating glowing lanterns in Lake Sydnor and the pools of the Central Garden. This family-friendly event includes the opportunity to join in making a community paper chain of wishes and commemorations.

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

5:30 p.m. Door open

6 – 8 p.m. Join us for an opportunity for guests to join in making a community paper chain. Write your own special wish, or commemorate a loved one, on a strip of paper, and link it to another person’s. Watch how the chain comes together, each link connecting to and supporting the other.

6-8 p.m. See Frida Kahlo’s Garden exhibition in the Lora Robins Library.

6-8 p.m. See M&T Bank Butterflies LIVE! (last entry is at 7:45 p.m.)

6 – 9 p.m. Guests can meander paths of the Central Garden and Cherry Tree Walk to discover self-reflective prompts. Acoustic music in select locations will delight and surprise. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Toro nagashi floating lantern festival. Image by Harlow Chandler

As dusk falls, Garden staff will float glowing lanterns in Lake Sydnor and the pools of the Central Garden.

 

 

 

 

Dates:
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - Thursday, September 17, 2020
Time:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Details

FAQs

Will tickets be available for purchase the night of the event?

Due to overwhelming interest and a limited number of tickets, this event is likely to sell out prior to the day of the event. You must have a pre-purchased Eventbrite ticket for entry to this special event. Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.

How many lanterns will you float in the lake?

There will be hundreds of lanterns floating in Lake Sydnor. Staff will also be floating lanterns in the pools of the Central Garden and Conservatory.

Does my ticket include a lantern?

No. Garden staff and volunteers will be responsible for lighting the lanterns — as shared symbols of wishes for lost loved ones. Staff and volunteers will also release and float the lanterns into the waterways. Lanterns are not available for individual purchase.

How can I participate?

From 6-8 p.m. outside the Conservatory, join in making a community paper chain. Write your own special wish, or commemorate a loved one, on a strip of paper, and link it to another person’s. Watch how the chain comes together, each link connecting to and supporting the other.

Are there special activities for children?

All activities during this family-friendly evening are multigenerational in nature. Children are encouraged to participate along with adults of all ages.

Will there be live music?

Yes. From 6-8:30 p.m., acoustic music will be performed at various spots scattered throughout the Central Garden and Cherry Tree Walk.

What time will the lanterns be lit?

At dusk, staff and volunteers will begin lighting and floating the lanterns until sunset.

Where should I stand for the best view?

We encourage visitors to wander the paths around Lake Sydnor and the Central Garden, experiencing the view from various vantage points as the evening light begins to change.

Will all of the Garden paths be accessible?

For your safety and security, areas of the Garden with insufficient path lighting will be closed for this special evening event. Guests will not be permitted in the Asian Valley, West Island Garden or Flagler Garden. Access to the Tree House and the floating docks will be closed.

Will WaterPlay be open in the Children’s Garden?

No, WaterPlay will not be open for this special event.

Will the Garden Café be open?

No, but food and beverages, including wine and beer, will be available for purchase outside in the Rose Garden until 8:30 p.m.

Will the Garden Shop be open?

Yes, you can enjoy shopping in the Garden Shop during the event.

Is there a rain date?

The event will go on rain or shine. If inclement weather threatens the safety of our guests or if consistent rain prevents the lighting of the lanterns we may reschedule the event.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Please consider carpooling or taking a taxi or ride service to this event.

What’s the refund policy?

This is a rain or shine event. There are no refunds.

What is Tōrō Nagashi?

Traditionally, this late-summer Japanese ceremony honors the memory of loved ones. During the festival of Obon, it is believed that ancestors come back to spend time with the living. On the final evening of the festival, paper lanterns are set afloat to accompany the spirits as they depart for another year. Tōrō (灯籠), pronounced toh-roh, means “lantern”, while nagashi (流し), pronounced nah-gah-shee, means “cruise” or “flow.”

BEST VALUE: MEMBERSHIP

Garden Members get discounted admission to Tōrō Nagashi.  If you plan to visit more than once a year, Becoming a Garden Member may be your best value.

IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION

The Garden is open rain or shine and closed only for severe inclement weather (no refunds). Any weather-related closings are posted on the website and Facebook.

  1. Print your Eventbrite ticket or have the ticket on your smartphone.
  2. Come to the Visitors Center and show ticket at the admissions desk for check-in.*
  3. After check-in, you’re good to go! Admissions will hand you a sticker and you can proceed to the gardens.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you’re visiting during high-volume times, there may be a line at the admissions desk.

PHOTO RELEASE POLICY

Photography of visitors, events, and activities at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for Toro Nagashi Lantern Evening are taken for promotional and editorial use to advance the mission of the Garden. Your attendance at this event implies your consent to display and/or publish any photographs in which your image appears.
Guests who do not consent to this policy may opt-out of a photo by informing the photographer.
These images become the property of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. They may be used in any and all Garden publications and media without limitation or reservation, and are not subject to compensation.