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Chicago: Falun Dafa Warmly Welcomed in Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nov. 28, 2021 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Chicago

(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners participated in the 87th annual Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 25. This eagerly anticipated holiday tradition, which began in 1934, was interrupted last year due to the pandemic. ABC, WGN9, and many other media outlets were onsite and conducted live interviews and TV broadcasts. Thousands of people lined the parade route to celebrate the return of this colorful tradition.

During the live broadcast this year, as in previous years, the hosts welcomed Falun Dafa. They gave a two-minute-long introduction, describing the practitioners’ entry as spectacular and praising their music as peaceful and beautiful. One moderator said, “That's right! The world needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance!”

Practitioners’ entry was a highlight of the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 25.

This was the eighteenth year that practitioners participated in the parade. They held banners worded, “Falun Dafa,” “Falun Dafa Teaches Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance”, “Falun Dafa is Good,” and “The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” Next came the flag team, practitioners demonstrating the Falun Dafa exercises, and a colorful float.

All along the parade route the Falun Dafa team was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Some spectators commented that they were the highlight of the entire parade. Others copied practitioners’ hand gestures as they demonstrated the exercises. Many people took out their phones to take pictures and videos.

Thousands of people lined the streets to watch the parade.

A reporter records the Falun Dafa team.

A group of tourists from Ohio happily accepts information about Falun Dafa.

A group of tourists from Ohio said they were drawn in by the exercise demonstration. They accepted fliers and expressed their interest in learning to practice Falun Dafa.

John Miller from Palatine, Illinois

John Miller from Palatine, Illinois praised the Falun Gong team for its beauty. He especially liked the music and said it gave people “a feeling of calm, peace and relaxation.”

Cody Nathan and his wife Shelby

Cody Nathan and his wife attended the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. Cody excitedly said that the practitioners’ entry was especially beautiful. His wife Shelby said, “This is my favorite performance.”

Chicago resident Rodriguez Guzman said the Falun Dafa float was “beautiful.”

Rodriguez Guzman has lived in Chicago for many years. He was impressed with the practitioners’ entry, especially the float, “I think their float is the best. It is beautiful!” He was happy that the Thanksgiving parade resumed and hopes that the annual tradition continues.

Lisa Rudek hopes more people can learn about Falun Gong.

Lisa Rudek said that she was honored to participate in the parade. “We Falun Gong practitioners practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We all benefit from our practice, so we also want to share this practice with more people.”

Background: What Is Falun Dafa?

Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide. Millions of people who have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—and learned the five exercises have experienced improved health and well-being.

Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, issued an order to ban the practice.

Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organization with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.

Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 22 years. The actual number is believed to be much higher. More have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.

There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply the organ transplant industry.