On 31st August, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners from Devon and Cornwall took part in the first Aarati “Festival of Light” at Lanhydrock House near Bodmin in Cornwall. The aim of the festival was to promote awareness of natural living in harmony with heaven and earth. At the Falun Gong stall. practitioners demonstrated the five gentle Falun Gong exercises and introduced the practice to festival-goers. They also explained the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party and collected signatures on a petition to help family members of UK practitioners who are being held in labour camps in China.
The stall proved to be a very popular attraction at the festival. Many people stopped to take information and talk to practitioners, and expressed shock upon finding out about the persecution and offered their good wishes. Next to the Falun Gong stall, practitioners set up a Petals of Peace table to show children and adults how to make paper lotus flowers as a symbol of compassion for the children suffering in China as a result of the persecution. One young boy came back to the stall several times to make flowers for friends and family members. At the end of the day practitioners were invited to hold an exercise workshop class near the stage to teach the Falun Gong exercises to people who had expressed a wish to learn the practice. Even though the weather had been cool and showery throughout the day, as soon as the exercise class started the sun came out and the sky turned blue.
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