Newburyport VIRTUAL Lantern Festival 2020

Welcome to the Greater Newburyport Ovarian Cancer Awareness (GNOCA) 2020 VIRTUAL LANTERN FESTIVAL. GNOCA has sponsored a lantern festival at the Bartlet Mall in Newburyport since 2011 to remember and commemorate family and friends whom we have lost, as well as to make wishes for health and happiness for ourselves, for our families and friends, and for our world. 

In response to COVID-19 the festival has been moved from the Bartlet Mall to your home and will be available online from 7 p.m., on Sunday, September 6th. 

The Newburyport Lantern Festival is inspired by the Asian tradition of decorating and floating lanterns at dusk to remember departed family members and friends and to make wishes for the future. 


A lantern and a tea light are found in the packet you have received from GNOCA. You can personalize your lantern to commemorate the person or persons you are remembering, or the wishes you are making, by using markers, crayons, stencils, stickers, ribbons, photos, names, messages or anything else that inspires you. You can even select some background music that sets the atmosphere or mood for you. As you decorate your lantern, you might find it a good time to talk about the person you are honoring, remembering or wishing well. You might recall joyful times and activities, funny stories, legendary accomplishments, memorable travels and favorite meals or treats. This could also be an ideal time to share hopes, dreams and wishes for the future for us as individuals and as a community. 


GNOCA has prepared a video for a lantern ceremony that will be available online at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 6th, at: OCAwareness, and at: (A Facebook account is not necessary.) 

This video can also be viewed at any time in the future and will run less than 30 minutes, including both music and a poem. It will conclude with an invitation to “launch” your lantern. 

Use the enclosed battery-operated tea light. Do not use an open flame in your lantern! Even so, please supervise young children as they decorate and prepare their lanterns for launching. 

You might choose to create your own ceremony on your own schedule, before or after September 6th, possibly on a special anniversary or memorial occasion. Here are some ideas of what you might do. 

  • Select and play or sing a special piece of music that reminds you of those you are remembering or the wishes you are making. 
  • Select and read a poem, prayer or story. 
  • “Launch” your lantern. It could be placed outside on your driveway, porch or window. You could launch your lantern in a small body of water, but you will want to be able to collect the lantern before it floats away. 
  • Select a piece of music or a reading to end the ceremony. 
  • We encourage you to send us your photos and videos to or share them on social media, tagging Greater Newburyport Ovarian Cancer Awareness on Facebook and Instagram. 

THANK YOU for your participation in the GNOCA 2020 Newburyport Lantern Festival. We are especially grateful for our generous sponsors and supporters of this event. 

GNOCA’s mission is to promote awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms and raise funds for research leading to a cure. Proceeds from this event go to local efforts to help women and their families  affected by ovarian cancer and to Ovations for the Cure, a Massachusetts nonprofit working toward a cure. 


Check our website at: for the 2020

VIRTUAL 5K RUN/WALK, taking place September 14 – 27.