Buddhist Organization Hosts Lunar New Year Festival

The Tzuchi Foundation hosted their own, independent celebration for the Lunar New Year.

Written by VINCENT WEI / Published February 25, 2011

A second festival celebrating the Lunar New Year took place at Live Oak Park during the recent holiday season.

Complimentary foods and beverages were served, while good luck Chinese symbols written with fountain pens were being passed around during the small festival sponsored by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a nonprofit Buddhist organization.

The Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means “compassion and relief,” is an international humanitarian organization and the largest nongovernmental organization in the Chinese-speaking world.

The organization was founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen on May 14, 1966 in Hualien, Taiwan. The organization started out a small group of thirty housewives who saved a small amount of money each day. Today, there are approximately 10 million members spread over a range of 50 countries.

A volunteer, who asked for her name not to be disclosed, was informing onlookers of the goal of the festival. The main idea of this festival was to receive donations to help others especially Haiti and inform others of the Tzu Chi Foundation. “Tzu Chi has sent millions of dollars and willing volunteers to Haiti to help the Haitians after the devastating earthquake.” Tzu Chi volunteer said, “I’m glad to have time today to help around. Helping others can make me feel good inside also.”

The main event took place in one of the rooms of the Live Oak Park. The main event started off with the traditional lion dance that was supposedly able to bring good fortune. Then followed a PowerPoint explaining what the citizens of the world can do to help this planet, for example, recycling. A message came from Master Yen explaining the goal of the foundation. The event lasted a few hours and ended with the lighting of candles and the handing out of red envelopes.

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