At around 11am on Saturday, February 12, a few practitioners in yellow scarves gathered in Place Jean Rostand under a grey sky. By midday, the number of practitioners had increased dramatically, and onlookers had gathered to watch the waist-drummers rehearsing and female dancers in costume warming up.
At around 2pm, after a slow build-up, colourful cars and vans for the floats arrived, and familiar banners brightened up the scene. By the time the parade began, a lot more practitioners had gathered and the atmosphere had become powerful. Passersby showed a great deal of interest, especially after long strings of firecrackers exploded one after another, frightening away evil spirits and waking up the entire neighbourhood. Suddenly the weather began to brighten and the parade, some 300 yards or so long, wound its way through densely-populated streets, attracting smiles from a pleasantly surprised public. Along the way, the firecrackers raised spirits, contributing for the first time, to this event in the busy Paris streets. This long colourful procession and music at last wound up at the Place de la Republique, where for a few hours large crowds gathered to watch the dancers and to talk with practitioners.
Sunday began with distinctive gold and scarlet costumes brightening another grey start, this time at the Eiffel Tower. As on the day before, the energy field became steadily more powerful and drew large crowds wanting to know more about Dafa and the situation in China. A lot of people signed the petitions against the persecution.
It was widely felt that this was a particularly memorable celebration, which succeeded in spreading the truth about Dafa to the people of Paris. Last year’s memories, of arrests and interference from the authorities on the occasion of Hu Jintao’s visit, have been transformed into a happy omen of a much brighter future for the people of Paris, and the rest of the world.
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