The Distance Project 16
That’s why on the 6th of August every year there’s a ceremony at the Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes, to commemorate the victims of that day. Volunteers at the Buddhist temple call it the Lantern Ceremony.
After prayers and chanting, peace lanterns are carried down to the lake and floated out across the water as the sun sets behind the pagoda. The light in each lantern is meant to, aided by prayer, guide the souls of victims in the right direction in order to ease their suffering.
Buddhism is a most compassionate religion.
Six weeks earlier, I’d gone to Willen for the Distance Project, to see what would happen on the day of the long planned 40th Peace Pagoda Ceremony. I was surprised and pleased to find a very small, invite only ceremony, although the event had been officially cancelled because of the lockdown. It was all they could do.
I expected a similar scene when I went to the Lantern Ceremony and that’s what I found, but a few more people had turned up to the pagoda on the off-chance, too.
Still, there were nowhere near as many there as usual. All around were other groups and small gatherings doing their own thing; exercising or picnicking in the public park.
This week I’m just showing you the first part of the ceremony, up at the Peace Pagoda. I’ll show you the second part of the ceremony down at the lake, next week.
(Edited, September 2021)
This is just one of many posts from The Distance Project and the project is to photograph what people are doing differently under lockdown. The link will take you back to the very first posts, but if you want to see them in reverse order, just click on the link in the categories list that's on every page. The project ran from April 2020 to September 2021.
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