(Minghui.org) After being temporarily suspended for two years due to the pandemic, the Rose Festival Starlight Parade was held again on June 4, 2022, in Portland, Oregon. Falun Dafa practitioners’ entry, the Fa Boat, joined the century-long tradition and was warmly received by spectators.
The annual Portland Rose Festival is held in May and June and lasts for a month. The Starlight Parade is one of the most anticipated events and the parade’s return was greeted with excitement. Despite the rain that evening, many families arrived early and waited along the streets or in tents they’d set up.
Falun Dafa practitioners in Washington state designed and built their entry, the Fa Boat. The base color green symbolises the arrival of spring, and the plum blossoms represent the practitioners’ unyielding spirit in the 23-year-long persecution.
On the sides of the Fa Boat were the Chinese characters, “Falun Dafa” and “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” Colorful clouds surrounded the lotus platform, on which practitioners dressed as celestial maidens demonstrated the sitting meditation. The practitioners next to the golden sail demonstrated the other Falun Dafa exercises.
Fox 12 live streamed the event that night. The host introduced Falun Dafa to viewers and explained that it is a traditional cultivation practice that follows the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. The practice has helped over 100 million people around the world improve their physical and mental fitness. The teachings of Falun Dafa are available for everyone for free at: www.falundafa.org.
The practitioners’ entry represented authentic Chinese traditions and stood out among the many entries. Many people commented that it brought the parade a special surprise. Some spectators cheered and shouted, “Falun Dafa!” when the Fa Boat appeared.
A Chinese professor watched the parade with her family. She knew about the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa in China, and said she admired practitioners’ perseverance over the past 23 years. “The practitioners endure hardship but use various peaceful measures to expose the persecution. They show the world how beautiful and peaceful the practice is, and how compassionate they are. Not everyone can do this.” She remarked on the practitioners’ parade entry, “The Falun Dafa entry is quiet and calm in contrast to other entries. The Fa Boat is well decorated and the music is graceful. It is truly enjoyable,” she said.
Background: What Is Falun Dafa and Why Is the CCP Persecuting It?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Millions of people who have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—and learned the five exercises have experienced improved health and well-being.
Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, issued an order to ban the practice. Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organisation with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 23 years, though due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual number is believed to be much higher. Many more have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.
There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply the organ transplant industry.
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