(Clearwisdom.net) The New Year's Day Mummers Parade is a Philadelphia tradition that dates back to pre-Colonial times, making it the oldest parade in the United States. Falun Gong practitioners were invited to participate in Philadelphia's parade this year.

The parade is divided into four categories: Comic, Fancy, String Band and Fancy Brigade. Each category consists of separate organizations that compete for prize money. The parade starts in the early morning and usually lasts well into the night. At the end of the parade route, all of organizations perform at City Hall in front of the judges (except the Fancy Brigades, who do their presentations in the Convention Center), as well as hundreds of people in the stands and millions of people watching on television.

This year marked the 102nd annual Mummer's Parade. About 15,000 performers participated. Despite the cold weather, tens of thousands of spectators showed up to watch the daylong event. Falun Dafa practitioners participated in the parade this year for the first time. The Falun Dafa entry was titled "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance," and accompanied by exquisite Pu Du music, heavenly girls dancing, a dragon dance and Falun Gong exercise demonstrations. The entry drew warm applause and cheers from the audience. The host introduced Falun Gong to the spectators and mentioned that Falun Gong is practiced in over 50 countries, bringing people improved mental and physical health. Falun Gong practitioners' performance rich in Eastern characteristics gave the audience some special surprises. Some people imitated practitioners' movements. Asian spectators were especially excited and proud to see practitioners' attractive performance. Many people took photos as mementos using practitioners' colorful costumes as background.

A parade official had watched Falun Gong practitioners' performance at the end of last November at Wilmington, Delaware's Christmas Parade and was deeply attracted by their performances. He personally invited practitioners to participate in the Philadelphia New Year's Day Mummers Parade.

The parade ended at the Liberty Bell. Philadelphia practitioners attending the parade took a group photo and sent their New Year's greetings to Master Li.

The success of the activity is the result of many practitioners' mutual efforts. Washington DC practitioners made a large banner proclaiming, "The world needs Truth Compassion Tolerance." Practitioners who performed the heavenly girl dances had to wear lightweight clothing in the below zero (32 degrees Fahrenheit) weather. One student said with smiles," We had performed at above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and we have also performed in 30 degree weather. It is not so difficult for a practitioner. Especially when we think that our performance is to show Dafa practitioners' spirits, we forget the cold."

Falun Gong is freely practiced in over 60 countries and is invited to participate in all kinds of activities in society. Only in China do they are suffer brutal persecution.