On Saturday June 27, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners in the UK came again to the town of Penzance in the Southwest England to participate the annual Golowan Festival. Penzance means "holy land" in the local language. Each year residents and tourists alike gather to celebrate the Golowan Festival.
In the festival, Falun Gong practitioners performed group exercises, set up an information table and participated in the parade. Several media outlets, including the BBC Cornwall Branch, interviewed the Falun Gong practitioners.
In the early morning, Falun Gong practitioners performed group exercises at the seaside of Penzance.
The local Falun Gong practitioners also got permission for a stall in the main street of the festival celebration, which served as an information table. On the table was various kinds of information about Falun Gong. A large clear-glass vase was fully filled with paper lotus flowers attached with a bookmark that said "Falun Dafa is good". Practitioners also provided instruction to encourage people to personally fold a lotus flower and to help stop the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. On the other side of the table were petitions condemning the persecution of Falun Gong.
In the festival's parade, the waist drum team performance was a big hit. The Falun Gong practitioners left a very good impression last year at the festival, and this year the festival organizers arranged the Falun Gong group to attend two parades, circling the town four times. They also arranged for the waist drum team to lead the parade.
Leading the Falun Gong group was the golden banner of "Falun Dafa", followed by banners "Truthfulness", "Compassion", "Forbearance" and "The World needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance". Wearing the brand new golden exercise clothes, over twenty Chinese and Western Falun Gong practitioners formed the waist drum team. Accompanied by the "Falun Dafa is good" music, the group walked in neat synchronized steps between the human walls formed by the visitors and performed powerful drum beats. Three female practitioners dressed as celestial maidens gave out paper lotus flowers to people lined up along the parade route. Many people applauded, and countless hands stretched out for the lotus flowers.
At the Falun Gong stall, people eagerly learned about Falun Gong, and many of them signed petitions condemning the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. Among them was a couple. The husband pushed his wheel-chaired wife to the stall and both signed the petition to show their support.
Another lady came to the stall and signed the petition. She said to the practitioners: "I am a Christian. I know that Christians are restricted and persecuted in China. Therefore I understand why Falun Gong is persecuted. People who are persecuted should stand together." Afterwards, pointing to a photo of a practitioner disfigured through torture, she said firmly: "When the final judgement day comes, these people who committed evil will definitely be punished."
Falun Gong practitioner Sue is local to Penzance. She is the daughter of a British farmer and has practised Falun Gong for six months. During Saturday's parade, she was holding up the "Falun Dafa" banner in front of the Falun Gong group. After the parade, she said: "I participated in the first Golowan Festival parade twenty-three years ago. I didn't realise that twenty-three years later, I would participate in the parade again as a Falun Gong practitioner. It felt great. I am very pleased to see that Falun Gong is very popular with the audience."
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