Highlights of Toronto's Chinese New Year Celebration (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On January 29, 2003, Falun Dafa practitioners in Toronto, Canada and Toronto Friends of Falun Gong jointly held the third "Spring Festival Celebration Party." The party attracted about 1,700 attendees and won good feedback from the public, especially from the Chinese communities.
The Toronto city government provided the location free of charge. This honor is only given to groups which have made positive contributions to society and have been affirmed by the city government. The activity was exceptionally well received. One thousand seven hundred tickets were distributed two weeks ahead of the party. Since space was limited, we had to restrict the number of attendees.
Compared to previous celebrations, a significant breakthrough this year was that some merchants provided support. Contacting many merchants also provided us good opportunities to clarify the truth to the community. Many restaurants provided us one or two large dishes of food for the event. Some merchants provided big boxes of bottled water, and some others provided gift certificates to the audience. A photo studio came to set up a booth and took pictures for the audience free of charge.
The entire party demonstrated the importance of Dafa disciples' being one integral entity. The location was beautifully decorated. Red lanterns, firecrackers and colorful balloons helped create a traditional Chinese New Year atmosphere. One of the key parts of the party was the dinner. Someone called it the "Lotus Flower Banquet". Practitioners meticulously prepared 250 family-style dishes. Practitioners' sincerity moved many attendees' hearts. Another key part was the more than ten musical and dance performances by practitioners. The performances included the Chinese song, "New Year's Song" sung by western practitioners, children demonstrating the exercises, and a beautiful "fairy dance." The performances were well received by the audience. After the party was concluded, practitioners carefully cleaned up the hall, which made the staff there feel very happy. Without working together as one body, without practitioners' doing everything from their hearts, the party's success could not have been achieved.
There were many moving stories during the celebration which were quite inspiring for practitioners.
After reading our family-rescue materials, a gentleman took the initiative to sign our petition. A person from the local Chinese community who has always been very supportive of us wrote a few words of thanks and presented them to practitioners at the party. He said that he was most touched by practitioners' persistence in their peaceful appeals in front of the Chinese consulate 24 hours a day, regardless of the hot or cold weather.
Practitioners chatted with the invited guests while eating. People all seemed to get along quite well. Someone said, "Looks like every Falun Gong practitioner is very capable. They are also good-looking. Many of them are very young!" Another friend nodded with agreement, "I heard about Falun Gong practitioners for a long time. But tonight is the first time for me to see their elegant appearance."
A non-practitioner who came from Mainland China surprisingly found his favorite dish of his hometown among the food prepared by practitioners. He was very moved and said, "It takes a long time to cook this dish, and it has to be cooked for a whole night. What luck I have to find such delicious food here today!"
Seeing that the party was so successful, a leader of the local overseas Chinese community asked us how many people were involved and how much time was spent to prepare the party. When he heard that not many people were involved, he sighed with emotion and told us that although there were many people in the overseas Chinese community association, they were unable to hold such event. Such is the mighty power of Dafa manifested in the human world.
A practitioner who does not have to work at a job prepared 16 dishes for the party. She needed her non-practitioner husband to help with the preparation. Although her husband did not understand this very well, he was very busy helping to prepare the dishes. He attended the party and enjoyed the lively scene. He also got to know other practitioners and his heart was moved by the practitioners' spirit.
A practitioner's husband expressed that although he has been with his practitioner wife day and night, he finally came to "learn what Falun Gong is all about today". He enjoyed very much watching the elegant five Falun Gong exercise demonstration. He muttered to himself, "How come I did not find that these exercises are so beautiful?"
Two professional dancers who just came here from China also participated in the performance. After the party, they expressed that they were very touched seeing practitioners doing things with their hearts.
Some audience members who attended last year's party said that this year's event was even better than last year's. Many people said that they would like to come again next year.
The success of this celebration party let many practitioners think of Master's poem: "Falun Dafa is good, gradually entering the human realm" ("Dafa is good").