Morikami Museum Getting Ready For Oct. 17 Lantern Festival

The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens’ popular fall celebration, Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon, will return Saturday, Oct. 17 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The iconic local festival is inspired by Japan’s traditional three-day Obon holiday honoring ancestors, and will include a breathtaking lantern floating ceremony, taiko drum performances, a fireworks display, Japanese folk dancing and more.

Expected to be a sold-out event, tickets have been available for purchase by Morikami members since August and opened to the general public Sept. 1. Tickets will not be sold at the gate.

In addition to nonstop entertainment throughout the evening, Morikami’s lively street celebration will feature games and crafts for people of all ages, traditional Japanese street festival foods and shopping. Visitors can also enjoy the Kirin Beer Garden and Sake Station.

In keeping with the traditional Obon celebration, guests will have the opportunity to purchase paper lanterns to personalize with special messages to honor and remember their loved ones. When night falls, visitors will pay homage to those who have passed on as the lanterns are lit with candles and set afloat across Morikami Lake. As part of a traditional Japanese ceremony known as tōrō nagashi, the lanterns will create many lights that signify the guidance of departing souls after their brief visit with the living.

Morikami members will enjoy a special members-only hour from 2 to 3 p.m., with an exclusive taiko drumming show, members-only sake selections and early bird lantern sales.

Tickets are limited and expected to quickly sell out. For pricing info., visit

The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida since its opening in 1977. Morikami invites guests to discover South Florida’s heritage and its connection with Japan, and explore a series of six diverse gardens inspired by a different historical period and style of Japanese gardening.

Experience traditional and contemporary Japanese culture through world-class exhibits, varied educational programs and seasonal events, a world-class bonsai display, Pan-Asian cuisine and a distinctive museum store.