The annual lantern ceremony

The annual lantern ceremony

Light the way to peace

It’s been 70 years since the world entered the nuclear age – with two massive explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It’s been 70 years since the world entered the nuclear age – with  two massive explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The annual memorial to the victims of those two bombs – and the annual expression of hope that the world will never again experience nuclear war – takes place Thursday, Aug. 6 at Esquimalt Gorge Park, 1070 Tillicum Rd.

“It’s a special time, we don’t wear our Granny gear. It’s very solemn, very serious, very simple,” says Anne Moon, of the Victoria Raging Grannies, organizers of the annual event.

People are invited to arrive at the park around 7:30 p.m. to make lanterns. “The fun part is making lanterns with a styrofoam base and little electric lights, so there’s no fire hazard. Then you can write messages of peace on them,” she says.

Lantern making will be followed by poetry reading, music and dance performed by members of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, at 8 p.m.

“There’s storytelling at dusk, then we go down to the water with some gentle music playing in the background and float our lanterns in the water,” says Moon. “It’s a lovely park, a lovely setting. We encourage people to bring lawn chairs or rugs, a picnic if they like.”

For years the event was held at the Craigflower-Kosapsom Park, but moved to Esquimalt Gorge Park during the reconstruction of the Craigflower Bridge.

“[Esquimalt Gorge Park] has a special link to the Japanese community, the original Japanese garden was there before the Second World War,” she says.

Organizers hope to bring together young and old to share memories and learn about the event that changed the political landscape of the world.

“This year we are honoured by the joint sponsorship of Physicians for Global Survival, and will enjoy story telling from Victoria’s Robert Oppenheimer,” adds Moon.

For more information search The Raging Grannies of Victoria on Facebook.