Over 5,000 Falun Gong Practitioners Participate in Annual Character Formation

The emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, translates to 'Great Way of the Law Wheel'TAIPEI, Taiwan—About 5,200 people got together at the island’s iconic Liberty Square on Dec. 9, arranging themselves into giant colorful Chinese characters and images to draw awareness to their spiritual practice, Falun Gong.To make the event possible, a retired architect created a blueprint in advance. For three days before Saturday, more than 100 local Falun Gong practitioners traced the master image onto the event floor with threads and sitting mats—each to be seated during the event.Dressed in yellow, white, blue, red, and black, Falun Gong practitioners walked up to their spots in an orderly manner on Saturday. About 2,000 formed the center image of the “law wheel,” known as “falun” in Chinese, which includes the traditional Buddhist "srivatsa" and Taoist "taiji" symbols. It is the emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, which translates as “Great Way of the Law Wheel.”The remaining about 3,000 formed 12 traditional Chinese characters. The four characters on the left translate to “Buddha Law is boundless,” the four characters on the top translate to “the revolving Fa reaches the extreme,” and the four on the right mean “Falun rotates constantly.”Huang Chun-mei, organizer of the activity and deputy chairman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, told The Epoch Times that the 12 characters were carefully chosen.“I hope that people can sense the powerful positive energy coming from these 12 characters,” Ms. Huang said, whether people were able to see the character formation in person or come across pictures of the event online. She added that such positive force was especially needed in the current world, which has all kinds of different fashions that are not necessarily good for people.Related StoriesThe annual event came amid the backdrop of how societies in Taiwan and China are vastly different—the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls every aspect of society and does not tolerate religious freedom, while Taiwanese people enjoy a vibrant democracy and robust freedoms.Consequently, Falun Gong practitioners in China face the risks of imprisonment, torture, and other inhumane treatment, ever since the CCP launched a brutal campaign to eliminate the group in 1999.Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that incorporates gentle meditative exercises, and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.The practice became very popular in China by the late 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million practitioners, based on official estimates at the time. The enormous following was deemed a threat by the former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who launched a brutal campaign to eliminate the practice in July 1999.For 24 years, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center. Many have become victims of China’s state-sanctioned practice of forced organ harvesting, with their vital organs extracted by Chinese hospitals to fuel a booming organ transplantation industry in China.Ms. Huang explained that Liberty Square, a major tourist attraction in Taiwan, serves as a portal to the island’s culture, freedoms, and history. “If similar character formation events could be held at Tiananmen Square, the China we have come to know would be very different,” she said. About 5,200 Falun Gong practitioners take part in a character formation at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Taiwan Falun Dafa Association)Falun Gong Not all the practitioners who took part in the Saturday event were Taiwanese, about 200 of them came from South Korea. Park Mi-ra at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Frank Fang/The Epoch Times)One of the South Koreans was Park Mi-ra, 48, a dentist, who started practicing Falun Gong in 2016. Ms. Park told The Epoch Times that this year marked the third time that she had traveled to Taiwan for the event.Ms. Park said it was “very beautiful” to be able to spend time with so many of her fellow practitioners. Comparing herself to a “particle” among many, she added that she felt great being one of the many making up the emblem at the center of the character formation.“I tell people about the organ harvesting. It should not be happening in China,” she added.Lo Yu-tang, 44, a purchasing representative working at the island’s electricity company Taipower, and his wife Chien Lien-ying, 41, came to Liberty Square on Saturday to support the event.Having been practicing Falun Gong since 2004, Mr. Lo explained that he is now doing a better job at maintaining inner peace. Rather than always focusing on himself, he said he had learned to think about others first.“If I don’t practice, I would probably often get into heated arguments at work. I would be upset over how the workload is not evenly distributed,” Mr. Lo said.Mr. Lo emphasized th

Over 5,000 Falun Gong Practitioners Participate in Annual Character Formation

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The emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, translates to 'Great Way of the Law Wheel'

TAIPEI, Taiwan—About 5,200 people got together at the island’s iconic Liberty Square on Dec. 9, arranging themselves into giant colorful Chinese characters and images to draw awareness to their spiritual practice, Falun Gong.

To make the event possible, a retired architect created a blueprint in advance. For three days before Saturday, more than 100 local Falun Gong practitioners traced the master image onto the event floor with threads and sitting mats—each to be seated during the event.

Dressed in yellow, white, blue, red, and black, Falun Gong practitioners walked up to their spots in an orderly manner on Saturday. About 2,000 formed the center image of the “law wheel,” known as “falun” in Chinese, which includes the traditional Buddhist "srivatsa" and Taoist "taiji" symbols. It is the emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, which translates as “Great Way of the Law Wheel.”

The remaining about 3,000 formed 12 traditional Chinese characters. The four characters on the left translate to “Buddha Law is boundless,” the four characters on the top translate to “the revolving Fa reaches the extreme,” and the four on the right mean “Falun rotates constantly.”

Huang Chun-mei, organizer of the activity and deputy chairman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, told The Epoch Times that the 12 characters were carefully chosen.

“I hope that people can sense the powerful positive energy coming from these 12 characters,” Ms. Huang said, whether people were able to see the character formation in person or come across pictures of the event online. She added that such positive force was especially needed in the current world, which has all kinds of different fashions that are not necessarily good for people.

The annual event came amid the backdrop of how societies in Taiwan and China are vastly different—the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls every aspect of society and does not tolerate religious freedom, while Taiwanese people enjoy a vibrant democracy and robust freedoms.

Consequently, Falun Gong practitioners in China face the risks of imprisonment, torture, and other inhumane treatment, ever since the CCP launched a brutal campaign to eliminate the group in 1999.

Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that incorporates gentle meditative exercises, and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

The practice became very popular in China by the late 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million practitioners, based on official estimates at the time. The enormous following was deemed a threat by the former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who launched a brutal campaign to eliminate the practice in July 1999.

For 24 years, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center. Many have become victims of China’s state-sanctioned practice of forced organ harvesting, with their vital organs extracted by Chinese hospitals to fuel a booming organ transplantation industry in China.

Ms. Huang explained that Liberty Square, a major tourist attraction in Taiwan, serves as a portal to the island’s culture, freedoms, and history. “If similar character formation events could be held at Tiananmen Square, the China we have come to know would be very different,” she said.

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 About 5,200 Falun Gong practitioners take part in a character formation at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Taiwan Falun Dafa Association)
About 5,200 Falun Gong practitioners take part in a character formation at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Taiwan Falun Dafa Association)

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Falun Gong

Not all the practitioners who took part in the Saturday event were Taiwanese, about 200 of them came from South Korea.
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 Park Mi-ra at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Frank Fang/The Epoch Times)
Park Mi-ra at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Frank Fang/The Epoch Times)

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One of the South Koreans was Park Mi-ra, 48, a dentist, who started practicing Falun Gong in 2016. Ms. Park told The Epoch Times that this year marked the third time that she had traveled to Taiwan for the event.

Ms. Park said it was “very beautiful” to be able to spend time with so many of her fellow practitioners. Comparing herself to a “particle” among many, she added that she felt great being one of the many making up the emblem at the center of the character formation.

“I tell people about the organ harvesting. It should not be happening in China,” she added.

Lo Yu-tang, 44, a purchasing representative working at the island’s electricity company Taipower, and his wife Chien Lien-ying, 41, came to Liberty Square on Saturday to support the event.

Having been practicing Falun Gong since 2004, Mr. Lo explained that he is now doing a better job at maintaining inner peace. Rather than always focusing on himself, he said he had learned to think about others first.

“If I don’t practice, I would probably often get into heated arguments at work. I would be upset over how the workload is not evenly distributed,” Mr. Lo said.

Mr. Lo emphasized that Falun Gong’s three principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance are universal values, and expressed hope that people will come to realize how cruel the CCP is.

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 Lo Yu-tang, his wife Chien Lien-ying, and their child at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Frank Fang/The Epoch Times)
Lo Yu-tang, his wife Chien Lien-ying, and their child at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Frank Fang/The Epoch Times)

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The character formation lasted several hours before ending around noon, during which many tourists and Taiwanese locals stood nearby to watch. A project manager from Paris, France, who calls himself Hicham, told The Epoch Times that he understands China and Taiwan are different.

“I’m Muslim. So in China, there is a persecution against Uyghurs. I am sad for that. And in Taiwan, it’s completely different, people can practice religion freely. It is good for the world,” Hicham said.

Visiting from India, Sumit, told The Epoch Times that “It is absolutely beautiful and necessary for the world to understand the basic differences between Taiwan and China, how there is more freedom here.”

“Persecution of any humankind based on their beliefs based on their religion is definitely not right, whether it be in China whether be it in another part of the world,” Sumit added.

After the character formation ended, Falun Gong practitioners lined up based on the colors of their clothes and did the exercises together.

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 About 5,200 Falun Gong practitioners take part in a joint exercise at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Sung Pi-lung/The Epoch Times)
About 5,200 Falun Gong practitioners take part in a joint exercise at Taiwan’s Liberty Square on Dec. 9, 2023. (Sung Pi-lung/The Epoch Times)

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Wu Ching-hsiang, the retired architect who created the blueprint for the formation, encouraged people to visit Falun Dafa’s official website, saying the practice’s teachings are available in many different languages.

“Your worldview will change; life is much more than just fighting over fame and money,” Mr. Wu told The Epoch Times.