After Jiang's regime unjustifiably impeded Falun Gong practitioners from joining in the Chinese Spring Festival Parade in Paris, French Falun Gong practitioners decided to invite fellow practitioners from other European countries to come to Paris and jointly hold two parades.
On the afternoon of January 23 2004, nearly a thousand Falun Gong practitioners from France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy and Taiwan attended the Falun Gong Spring Festival Float Parade in Downtown Paris. Besides, some local Chinese people who love Chinese culture and support Falun Gong also actively joined the parade. A Chinese traditional lion-dance team led the procession that extended several kilometres. Next was a float on which Falun Gong practitioners dressed in elegant ancient Chinese costumes stood. They were holding various musical instruments. Following the float was a group of "heavenly flying girls" holding baskets of flowers, and nearly 30 "lotus fairies" who held single lotus flowers. Accompanied by the song "Falun Dafa is great," the lotus fairies and flying girls danced gracefully.
One after another, passersby stopped and watched the parade. They applauded and cheered. Many people in vehicles opened their windows, popped their heads out and loudly said to those dancing girls, "Thank you!" The most lively and exciting scene was the "waist drum" performance conducted by a group of both western and Chinese Falun Gong practitioners. They dressed in traditional golden Qigong exercise suits bound with red ribbons. Previously, many westerners did not know much about Chinese culture or were not interested in it. Through practising Falun Gong, more and more westerners have come to admire, support and promote the splendid Chinese culture.
Most on-lookers happily accepted practitioners' flyers that introduced Falun Gong and the persecution and some wished practitioners great success. Along the road, many Chinese people also watched the parade. Much of the audience stood on the roadside for a long time and silently watched the parade from the beginning to the end. In front of such a high-spirited and vigorous, beautiful and peaceful procession, many saw and felt the greatness of Falun Dafa.
A Chinese student said, when accepting an interview, "I think they [the Falun Gong practitioners] have done very well. They expressed what they want to say in a very good, peaceful and kind way...What touched me most was the group of people who held photos of those they mourn for. When I watched, I almost could not hold back my tears." A reporter asked, "What photos?" He said, "I think the photos are of those fellow practitioners who were persecuted. Most likely, the photos are those who died as a result of the persecution in China."
A South American who lives in France expressed that he had just celebrated the Chinese spring festival with several Chinese people. Previously, he watched a similar parade on TV. Today, he was very excited to personally witness such a parade for the first time. At the same time, he felt that he deepened his understanding of Chinese culture. He said that he had not heard of Falun Gong before, but he learned more about Falun Gong through this parade.
On the afternoon of Sunday January 25th, Falun Gong practitioners conducted a similar parade and and display the charm of Chinese culture and the beauty of Falun Dafa in Paris once again.
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