On October 1, over 70 practitioners invited representatives from city governments, Chinese communities and media to celebrate a Chinese traditional holiday -- the Mid-autumn Festival.

This night, the moon was at its fullest. To the Chinese, the Mid-autumn Festival is like Thanksgiving is to Americans. On this special day people miss even more their loved ones far away. According to Chinese custom, on Mid-autumn Festival, the family will leave an empty seat for their loved one that could not make it to the gathering. Since July 20, 1999 when the Chinese government started persecuting Falun Gong, so many families have been broken. The chairs around dining tables are empty. Loved ones are jailed or detained in mental hospitals.

Following Chinese custom, two seats were left empty at the party for Chen Gong, a New Jersey couple's son, and Dr. Teng Chunyan, a New York acupuncturist.

Many New Jersey officials, including senators, representatives and mayors attended the ceremony and gave speeches. They thanked practitioners for the invitations and expressed their commitment to working with the international community to end the persecution in China.

Chinese community leader Lin Jiehui also attended the ceremony and gave a speech. She said, "For all the good things, we offer our support." She declined two other invitations for that day and came to join the Mid-autumn Festival party organized by Falun gong practitioners and supporters.

Despite of his busy schedule during election, the Wood Bridge city mayor, a candidate for New Jersey governor, also came to the party. He told everyone that Wood Bridge city had passed a resolution asking Beijing government to give people the freedom to practice their beliefs.

In the ceremony, practitioners played the video "Falun Dafa in New Jersey", which described the development of Falun Dafa since 1996 when the first practitioner introduced Falun Gong to New Jersey. With compassionate hearts practitioners unselfishly introduced Dafa to New Jersey citizens without seeking money or fame. They only wanted to let more people benefit from Dafa. Afterwards practitioners performed for the guests. They also demonstrated Falun Dafa exercises.

Ms. Chen Ying and her parents play Pudu

Practitioners demonstrate exercises