Halloween is one of the most anticipated festivals for children. Therefore, Buddha's Light Hsi Lai School held a different kind of integration of Eastern and Western cultures for parents and students on October 29th and 30th. The activities included the Halloween online theater-Meeting the Four Bodhisattvas and collecting candies on the spot. Nearly 500 people participated in the events.
Halloween is one of the traditional holidays in the United States. It was originally an event dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed. As time evolves, children create and wear a variety of colorful Halloween costumes; for example, dress up as elves, ghosts or favorite cartoon characters to ask for candies on this day. Based on the spirit of entertaining within education, Hsi Lai School integrates the original festival culture, allowing students to dress up as various characters to show their creativity, and at the same time, to help students understand the Four Bodhisattvas in Eastern culture. This allows children to respect different cultures and customs, and to broaden students’ horizons.
The Four Bodhisattvas are Manjushri Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Guanyin Bodhisattva, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, representing wisdom, practice, compassion and vows. In order to implement Fo Guang Shan’s tenet "To propagate the Dharma through culture; to foster talent through education; to benefit society through charity; to purify human minds through spiritual cultivation", the school's teachers, volunteers and students Gao Shihan, and Chen Chenshi made a special animated short film-"Meeting the Four Bodhisattvas". This leads students to better understand the Eastern culture, and remember to always be grateful for the teachers and friends around them; for, they are considered the transformations of Bodhisattvas, too.
After watching the videos of the Four Bodhisattvas, the students dressed in cute costumes, went to the Buddhahood Path (courtyard) in Hsi Lai Temple to pick up their bag of goodies. The principal of Hsi Lai School, Ven. Hui Dong, thanked all the teachers, parents and volunteers for their support and motivation in organizing this event. He encouraged the students to learn the spirit of the Bodhisattvas and practice the Three Acts of Goodness, do good deeds, say good words and think good thoughts. Wisdom Candy, Compassion Candy, Deeds Candy and Vow Candy to symbolize the Four Bodhisattvas' vows and blessings were given to the students. The students and parents had unforgettable Halloween memories.