United Kingdom: Crowds Applaud for Falun Gong Performance in London New Year's Day Parade

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The wet weather receded in time for the 20th anniversary of the London New Year's Day Parade. With more than 10,000 participants this parade is considered "the greatest annual street parade in Europe". The event was attended by an estimated 450,000 Londoners and was also broadcast around the world for Live Satellite Coverage, as well as being covered by the BBC, CNN, Fox news, SKY and CBS.

UK Falun Gong practitioners were back by invitation this year. Their performance was praised as beautiful and peaceful and received applause from the spectators as they passed. The group showed the beauty of Falun Dafa through traditional Chinese music, costume, dance and theatre as well as demonstrating the five sets of graceful Falun Dafa exercises.

Leading the group were medallions of "Truthfulness", "Compassion" and "Tolerance", followed by a lively dragon chasing a golden ball. Two golden lions came next - chasing their wagging tails, chasing each other and enchanting the audience with their joviality. Following the lions came the beating tempo of the waist drummers and cymbals, inspiring onlookers to clap in rhythm.

After the drummers came a finely decorated float containing heavenly beings among the clouds. Dressed in stunning classical Chinese costumes, the beautiful women waved and smiled to the audience who were waving and smiling back. In the centre of the float a dignified person dressed as a Buddha was meditating in a lotus flower surrounded by bright srivatsas and taijis. Along with these heavenly beings the Dafa exercises were also being demonstrated.

Following the float came the fan dancers in pastel pink, green, peach, blue and gold costumes. Dancing with delicate elegance to the music of "Falun Dafa Hao", they inspired many photographs and video recordings to be taken. Behind the dancers came the colourful Falun Dafa banners with bright Falun emblems.

Thousands of hand-made lotus flowers and leaflets were distributed to the crowd. The leaflets explained what Falun Gong is and about the brutal persecution which is still happening in China. When the parade passed near London's Chinatown, many Chinese people received informational Video-CDs about the persecution. Even many westerners asked to have more than one leaflet or a VCD, stating that they had Chinese friends or neighbours with whom they wanted to share the information.

Practitioners gathered for a group photo to wish Happy New Year to Falun Gong founder Master Li Hongzhi.

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