Celebrate a month of special holidays and unique festivals from across the Asian continent. Commemorate the birthday of Buddha by stenciling your favorite Buddhist mantra, or saying, onto a scratch board. Enjoy performances by the Dallas Kiyari Daiko and engage in lectures on Japanese culture, in celebration of Japan’s annual “Golden Week.” Lastly, don’t forget to write a wish and hang it on our wish tree as a symbol of good fortune. “May” all your wishes come true!
COMMUNITY ACTIVITY: WISHING TREE
6–10 PM | East Plaza
A wish tree is an individual tree, usually distinguished by species, position or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make votive offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint or goddess fulfillment of a wish. Join us in creating our own Wish Tree. Tie a small piece of paper to a branch, watch it flutter in the wind, and wait to see what the future holds.
ART ACTIVITY: INCENSE HOLDERS
6–10 PM | East Balcony
Incense is an aromatic stick or cone usually made of an herb or plant that is burned to release a delightful scent. While sometimes used in religious services or lit as an offering, incense is also a common sight around any home outside of its religious context. Decorate a beautiful wooden incense holder with designs and stencils to bring back to use in your own home and enjoy a complimentary incense stick as well!
ART ACTIVITY: MANTRA SCRATCH BOARDS
6–10 PM | West Balcony
A mantra is a sacred phrase or word that is repeated by an individual to invoke blessings and bring one’s mind into focus. In Buddhism, oftentimes mantras are tied to a specific deity or bodhisattva, such as Avalokiteshvara or Tara. By repeating the syllables, an individual utilizes the prayer to bring oneself closer to that deity; thereby developing the positive attributes of that deity, such as compassion or wisdom. In this way one comes closer to enlightenment. The three mantras today are those of Avalokitesvara, Green Tara, and Manjusri. Choose one and create it in beautiful color on a scratch board to take home and bring blessings and peace into your life!
ART ACTIVITY: MALA BEAD BRACELETS
6–10 PM | Plaza Fountain
Create a set of mala-like beads out of clay that can be used for keeping count and staying focused while reciting, chanting, or repeating a mantra during meditation. Malas are typically made of wood or seeds and strung with various number of beads depending on the selected mantra and practice.
PERFORMANCE: JAPANESE TAIKO DRUM ENSEMBLE WITH DALLAS KIYARI DAIKO
7–8 PM | Plaza Fountain
Taiko is a traditional Japanese drum. In ancient Japan, the Taiko was the symbol of the rural community, and originally, it was played as a ceremonial instrument in Shinto shrines. In recent years, however, taiko’s unique beats and rhythms can be heard on stages all over the world. The Dallas Kiyari Daiko was organized in 1992, after Mr. Yoshikazu Fujimoto, leader of the world famous “Kodo” Taiko Group, from Sado, Japan, presented a workshop at SMU in Dallas. Come and hear this exciting instrument and enjoy its thrilling beat!
DEMONSTRATION: CHINESE BRUSH PAINTING BY TAO ARTS
7-9 PM | Arbor Walk, 2nd floor
Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. Artists from TAO Arts will demonstrate traditional Chinese brush painting featuring flowers, animals, and landscapes. The Association of Oriental (TAO) Arts was founded in 1977 to help preserve and provide instruction on traditional Chinese and Sumi-e brush painting, and to educate the public about the ancient art form.
SCREENING: PLEASE VOTE FOR ME
8:00 PM & 10:30 PM | Grand Gallery, 2nd floor
Please Vote for Me is a 2007 documentary film following the elections for class monitor in a 3rd grade class of eight-year-old children in the Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China. The candidates, Luo Lei, Xu Xiaofei, and Cheng Cheng, compete against each other for the coveted role and are egged on by their teachers and doting parents. This was reported to be the first election of its type for a class monitor held in a school in China, as well as an interesting use of classic democratic voting principles and interpersonal dynamics. The documentary gives a glimpse into China’s contemporary urban middle classes. It won the Sterling Feature Award at Silverdocs in 2007. In November 2007, Please Vote for Me was named by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of 15 films on its documentary feature Oscar shortlist.
PERFORMANCE: LION DANCE BY JK WONG ACADEMY
9:30 PM | Sculpture Garden
Lion Dance embraces the beauty, art, culture, traditions, and history of China. A good performance is believed to bring luck and happiness. Gestures and movements that closely mimic the emotions of the mystical animal tells the story behind the performance. Emotions and expressions portrayed by the dancers include excitement, caution, curiosity, playful, anger, sleepiness, confusion, happiness and sadness, to name a few. Join us for a two-lion dance throughout our breathtaking Sculpture Garden that is sure to bring you luck and good fortune throughout the year.