New Yorkers Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day, Sharing Joy and Beauty of the Practice

Sophia Lam
By Sophia Lam
May 8, 2023Falun Gong
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Over 1,000 adherents of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice celebrated World Falun Dafa Day on Sunday in New York City, sharing their joy with onlookers.

World Falun Dafa Day falls annually on May 13, which is also the birthday of Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of the practice. The event is celebrated around the world.

This year marked the 31st anniversary of Falun Dafa’s introduction to the public and the 72nd birthday of Mr. Li.

Falun Dafa practitioners held the celebration at Union Square in Manhattan, which featured artistic performances including from the Tian Guo Marching Band, dragon and lion dancing, Western orchestral music, and traditional Chinese instrument solo performances. Children from the Lotus Primary School recited poems and danced, earning applause from the audience.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual self-improvement practice with five slow-moving, gentle exercises and moral teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It was introduced by Mr. Li in China in 1992 and quickly spread across the country and around the world, following people reporting significant physical and spiritual benefits from the practice.

Falun Dafa Day
Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Falun Dafa Day
Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Falun Dafa Day
Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“We are here today to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day and to showcase the beauty of Falun Dafa to the public,” said practitioner Yi Rong from New York. “Falun Dafa has been spreading worldwide. Many people in New York are practicing Falun Dafa as well.”

Commendations From Lawmakers

Every year on Falun Dafa Day, U.S. lawmakers express their support by commending Falun Dafa.

On April 25, the New York State Senate adopted Resolution 821 to commemorate the 24th Annual World Falun Dafa Day.

Screenshot Of New York State Senate S Commemoration Resolution
Screenshot of New York State Senate’s commemoration resolution on April 25, 2023. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

U.S. lawmakers at the state, city, and county levels also sent their commendations and congratulatory letters to Falun Dafa practitioners, praising the positive impact that the spiritual practice has brought to the community and the lives of New York State residents, as well as the good that Falun Dafa practitioners have done.

Support From Audience

The performances were both spectacular and diverse, bringing joy and happy surprise to the audience. Two Western spectators, who gave their names as Elizabeth and David, were deeply moved by the performances.

“The colors are so pure and rich. The dragon dance was really interesting, and the children loved it,” they told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times while watching the celebration.

“Truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance are virtues, which I think are essential to our life,” Elizabeth said, adding that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is unbelievable.

She said it was her first time learning about Falun Dafa and the persecution targeting these peaceful practitioners. She’d like to know more about the practice.

Falun Dafa Day
Passers-by take photos as Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Li, a Taiwanese immigrant who has lived in the United States for 45 years, watched the performances attentively. He gave his surname only in the interview with The Epoch Times.

Li does not practice Falun Gong. He said that he supports what Falun Gong practitioners have been doing and is very sympathetic to those who have been persecuted by the CCP since 1999.

“I have found that what was reported in the Epoch Times about the CCP’s harvesting organs [from Falun Gong practitioners] is true,” said Li.

Falun Dafa Day
Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Li believes that the situation in which many people turn a blind eye to the CCP’s atrocities must be stopped and that people must be vigilant.

“The free world is also facing significant threats now, and we must do everything we can,” he added.

World Falun Dafa Day
Falun Dafa practitioners march in a parade in San Francisco on May 6, 2023, to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day. (Lear Zhou/The Epoch Times)

The CCP started its persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999 amid the wide popularity of the practice in China. The communist regime initiated a massive nationwide campaign, using various state departments and media outlets to slander and suppress the spiritual practice, and have since then tortured and harvested organs from living Falun Gong practitioners.

An independent people’s tribunal in London concluded in June 2019 that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply.”

‘Justice … Will Never Be Absent’: Chinese Tourist

One Chinese tourist spoke anonymously with The Epoch Times, saying that he was impressed by the self-discipline demonstrated by Falun Dafa practitioners. He said that he noted this from details he’d seen: while Falun Dafa performers were in the sun, those practitioners who watched the performances sat under the stage and were exposed to the sun for several hours, without standing under the shade as other audiences did.

He told The Epoch Times that the practitioners’ self-discipline is owing to their “inner, firm, strong, and persistent spirit.” He and his colleagues, who were also watching the celebrations, had contacted Falun Gong practitioners while they were in China. They are aware of the CCP’s persecution and they know that Falun Gong is “innocent,” according to the tourist.

Falun Dafa Day
Falun Gong practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 7, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“History will record everything,” the tourist said. “Justice may be late, but it will never be absent.”

The celebration lasted for six hours, showcasing Falun Gong’s cultural and spiritual traditions, as well as its followers’ perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.

After the events, practitioners took a group photo at Union Square, expressing their gratitude to Mr. Li Hongzhi for making the practice public, benefiting millions worldwide, and wishing Mr. Li a happy birthday.

From The Epoch Times

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