The Flower Candle Message Project

The Flower Candle Message Project started last year at the Flower Festival. Here are some pictures from the 3 day project which I worked on as one of the staff member this year. I hope more people will join this beautiful activity next time!

The Flower Festival, the largest and most famous festival in Hiroshima was held from the 3rd to the 5th of May, during Golden Week. This festival is really famous for its gorgeous parade on Heiwa-dori which is known as a beautiful tree-lined road. I had not been to the festival since I was a child. This year I had the opportunity to join the festival as a staff member for the Flower Candle Message Project.

The Flower Candle Message Project started last year at the Flower Festival. It's a simple project that asks people to write a message for peace on a message card, wrap it around a glass candle and place it in a line in front of a momument in the Peace Park. I thought that it would be an easy project to work on, but it was much harder than I expected to get people to join this project. Because it's a new project for the Flower Festival, no one knows about it (I didn't know about it, of course!). So I had to explain to each person who stopped in front of the booth how much the message card was (300yen), what to write on it, the way to wrap the message card around the glass candle and where to place it. We started enlisting people to join this project at the booth in front of the Peace Museum at 10am everyday, but during the daytime it was more difficult to explain how beautiful the candles would be in the Peace Park at night.
We also rode on the parade to advertise it! It was a very hot day and I was almost dying on the parade truck, but it was fun! Unfortunately, I was only the photographer there for PEACE magazine so I can't show my pictures of the parade here, sorry!

After the parade, I was a bit shocked to realize how weak I was, I start thinking about my daily life and how careless I am about my health... but when the candles were lit after 6pm, I was so moved.

The Peace Park was just so beautiful and peaceful with the candles.

With the silence, after the music from stages set around the Peace Park stopped, with people's voice and the wind going through, these candles were burning quietly but showing simple and beautiful messages for peace on them. They were all such short and easy messages, but they made me stop and think about peace.

9,000 candles were placed in front of the momument in the end. I just hope that there will be more candles next year, and that they will make it possible to keep them burning in our minds.
Thank you for all of those who gave a message for the project! And much respect to all the staff members!