Posted by: Erudito Category: Hottest news Comments: 0

Halloween Traditions at Erudito Licėjus and the Most Anticipated Day of the Year: Why Celebrating Halloween Is Beneficial?

There is one day each year that the students of “Erudito” licėjus eagerly anticipate and prepare for well in advance. Psychologists say that this holiday can even be highly beneficial for children!

Throughout the day, the hallways echo with cries of “Candies!” or “Trick or treat”, unfamiliar faces of students, and the most impressive costumes – these are just some of the Halloween traditions. Two weeks before the holiday, classes and school spaces are adorned, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are carved and displayed for the spookiest and most impressive pumpkin contest. These awards are the culmination of one of the IB PYP student projects: for the most impressive pumpkin and the one with the most votes, the fourth graders organizing the pumpkin contest promised a generous reward – a full pumpkin of candies! (There are so many notes in the ballot box that the winners will be announced and rewarded after the fall break.) Another student initiative was the Halloween Day awards organized by the Student Council in Kaunas: everyone was invited to capture the Halloween spirit at the photo wall, send photos or post them on social media with the tag @mt.erudito, and possibly become one of the ten nominees! The best costume contests also took place in the Vilnius branch: each class was encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes, and if more than half of the students met this condition, sweet prizes, gratitude, and invitations to watch a movie were promised to the winners.

Students not only collected candies in their baskets but were also generous themselves: they expressed their gratitude to school staff by sharing cookies and sweets. “You feed us so deliciously, we want to treat you too”, said the third graders who came to the cafeteria.

In Kaunas, Halloween saw a talent show organized by music teacher Odilija Luciukaitė. Wearing Halloween costumes, students had the opportunity to showcase their dance, singing, gymnastics, and other talents. “This holiday brings the entire school community together”, the teacher said with delight.

Helps Conquer Fear

However, Halloween is much more than just pumpkins, masks, and candies. According to Virginija Rekienė, the psychologist at “Erudito” licėjus, Halloween, which has ancient Celtic roots, can be even beneficial because it helps children establish a relationship with fear.

“Fear is a natural state, one of our fundamental emotions, and this holiday is an opportunity to talk about it, live with this feeling, get to know it, and control it”, the psychologist says. According to her, with all states – joy, hate, as well as fear – we need to establish a relationship, it is natural to want to establish a relationship and get to know what is human. Emotional studies show that all the states we experience can be divided into four basic emotions: we experience joy, sadness, anger, and fear every day. If we start to ignore any of them, block them, it hides behind others, so if we don’t allow ourselves to get angry, it may be that fear or sadness will increase in life. Or if we don’t allow ourselves to be afraid – it may happen that we will experience many annoying and irritating situations.

“Fear is a human gift. It is part of our daily life. But how to establish a relationship with feelings we deny and do not know? That’s why this holiday is so much fun: it allows you to establish a relationship with fear and control the effect of fear, starting with the choice of costumes and decorations, and ending with the intensity of the emotions experienced”, says psychologist V. Rekienė.

Fear is tangible. Halloween is an opportunity for children to establish a relationship with the natural thing – fear from an early age and feel better about it. “We cannot separate a child from fear because that’s how we create a bubble. Fear is a very important emotion; it protects us from danger, and there are all kinds of fears. The most important thing is not to be afraid to look fear in the eye.”

The insights of the psychologist are confirmed by the students themselves. When doing tasks of critical and social thinking, third graders admitted that they like Halloween because they can “legally” scare and frighten once a year, and no one complains about it. So, in class, teachers had the opportunity to discuss not only fear but also how to become braver, as both of these things are related: it is said that bravery is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it. If we do not talk about fear, we cannot talk about courage. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, every life experience when we face fear gives us strength, courage, and confidence.