Falun Gong Shines at Seafair Torchlight Parade
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) practitioners made a spectacular presentation at the 69th Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle on the evening of July 28, 2018. The grand parade with 120 participating groups attracted over 100,000 spectators to the streets and was watched by 700,000 people on TV. Falun Gong practitioners won waves of applause and cheers with their gorgeous float and spirited performance.
Seafair is the most anticipated summer festival in Seattle. This annual event spans ten weeks and touches more than two million people through 75 sanctioned events. The Torchlight Parade is the finale of the Seafair, usually held on either the last Saturday in July or the first Saturday in August. Because the parade starts in the evening, participants use creative lighting and luminescent devices in their displays.
Tian Guo Marching Band
The Falun Gong procession this year included the Tian Guo Marching Band of 100 musicians, a waist-drum troupe of 50 dancers, and close to 40 people on or marching with the Falun Dafa float. It was the largest group in this parade since Falun Gong's first appearance in 2011.
Band members were dressed in blue and white traditional court musician costumes of the Tang Dynasty, with the word “Music” in ancient Chinese font. They looked stately with their court officials' hats and black boots. Drum major Abraham led the band. Established in 2005, the Tian Guo Marching Band soon formed a branch in the Western U.S. It participates in a dozen community events each year and has received multiple awards.
Spectators were excited to see a powerful marching band dressed in ancient costumes. They cheered, clapped, and showered the band with praise.
Award-Winning Falun Dafa Float
The float was designed, constructed, and decorated by Falun Gong practitioners in Seattle, and has appeared in parades in the U.S. and Canada, where it has won more than ten major awards.
This year's float used green as the base color for the boat, which symbolizes spring and hope. The words “Falun Dafa” and “Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance” were painted on the float in both Chinese and English. Thousands of cherry blossoms symbolized Falun Gong practitioners who had braved the persecution and stood firm in their belief. The clouds painted on the bottom of the float made it look like a boat from the heavens. Eight Falun Gong practitioners sat or stood on the boat, dressed as fairies or demonstrated Falun Gong exercises.
When the Falun Gong procession passed the stage, an anchorwoman from KIRO 7 News said, “We are about to start a mythical voyage. This is Falun Dafa! Falun Dafa is a practice of both mind and body, following principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. One hundred million people in more than 70 countries are practicing Falun Dafa. It is an ancient practice, but it was introduced to the public in 1992.”
Joyful Waist-Drum Dance
Following the float was the waist-drum troupe. Close to 50 waist-drum dancers in golden uniforms and head bands looked bright and joyful. They danced neatly and passionately to the beat of cymbals. Their swift movements to powerful music touched the hearts of spectators. An elderly spectator said, “They did a great job! The music, drum beats and dance are so synchronized. They look so happy, as if it's best moment of their lives!”
The live TV broadcast covered almost every row of the waist-drum dancers with closeups, which brought the TV audience close to the spirit of Falun Dafa.
Mrs. Liu Rong, the leader of the waist-drum troupe, said that all members of her group had practiced well technically and mentally. “We have received strict training and mastered the skills. We practice together before every parade. It's important for us to study the Fa and do the exercises together. When everyone is melted into the Fa and realize our mission, we outdo ourselves to show the power of Dafa.”
Warm Feedback from Spectators
Spectators continued to approach the Falun Dafa float for pictures. Some took pictures with Falun Gong practitioners in fairy costumes. Some asked for information about Falun Gong.
One of the parade judges told a practitioner, “Your float looks gorgeous! I like it a lot!” Some spectators said it was the best float they had ever seen. Many people surrounded the marching band and waist-drum troupe as the musicians and dancers did Falun Gong exercises. Three tourists learned the exercises from practitioners right then and there.
The Falun Gong processions were the 99th and the 100th of the parade. Upon hearing the resonant music of the Tiao Guo Marching Band, many stood up, cheered, took videos and photos, clapped to the music, and copied the movements of the drummers.
As the float approached, many people shouted in excitement, “Falun Dafa!” “Falun Dafa!” “Look at the fairies!” Some people gave practitioners high fives and thumbs-up. Some pressed their hands together in front of the chest. The waist-drum dancers followed the float. The spectators' loud cheers and applause filled the intervals between the music. Children lined up with their hands out, waiting for Falun Gong practitioners to high five them.
Many local Chinese Americans and tourists from China waved and smiled at Falun Gong practitioners. They took pictures of this beautiful moment. A Chinese family visiting Seattle for the first time greeted the practitioners and took pictures with them.
Many Chinese spectators happily took Falun Gong introduction flyers. A dozen Chinese people talked to practitioners and wanted to quit the communist organizations.
An elderly gentleman from Hong Kong told a Falun Gong practitioner that he supported Falun Gong. He showed the practitioner pictures on his phone with the Falun Dafa float from last year. He said he had known about the persecution in China and the Chinese Communist Party's organ harvesting from living practitioners, and had followed the news about the persecution. He asked what he could do to help stop the persecution as soon as possible.