Happy World Falun Dafa Day

Dear Readers,

On May 13, 1992, in a humble schoolhouse in northeastern China, Mr. Li Hongzhi began teaching Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa), introducing to modern China and the world a practice with roots extending back thousands of years. 

By early 1999, there were 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China alone, their slow-moving meditative exercises visible at dawn in parks across the country. Today, Falun Gong has transcended cultural and national boundaries to bring physical health, joy, and peace of mind to millions of others around the globe.

In this special-edition newsletter, we turn our focus to celebrating World Falun Dafa Day, commemorated each year on May 13 to mark the anniversary of the practice’s public introduction as well as Mr. Li Hongzhi’s birthday.


Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center

Worldwide Celebrations

Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in New York City hold a parade on May 10, 2024. This small float is shaped like the main text of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun.

Falun Gong practitioners in over 100 countries gather in their respective regions to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day each year on the week of May 13 with parades, exercise demonstrations, and cultural performances. In New York City, practitioners gathered for a parade featuring the Tian Guo Marching Band, dragon dances, and waist drum performances. These events serve not only to commemorate the introduction of Falun Dafa to the public but also to educate and engage local communities about the practice and its benefits, while calling attention to the human rights challenges faced by practitioners in China.

Government Officials Around the World Show Support

Alex Nuttal, Mayor of Barrie, Canada raises a flag in front of Barrie City Hall for Falun Dafa Day

Across the globe, members of parliament, senators, elected state representatives, and city mayors have issued World Falun Dafa Day declarations and participated in festivities to celebrate the holiday. Those who have written declarations this year include U.S. Senator Ben CardinCanadian Member of Parliament Andrew Scheer, and U.K. Member of Parliament Mark Prichard.

Falun Gong Practitioners and Others from Across China Send Greetings

Card reads: “Happy Falun Dafa Day, Happy Birthday Falun Dafa Teacher Li Hongzhi. The people from Yantai, Shandong who understand the truth send their wishes.”

Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s violent persecution, people across China continue to practice Falun Gong. Using technology to overcome internet censorship, many send greetings to the Minghui.org website for Falun Dafa Day and to wish Mr. Li a happy birthday. In many places, Chinese citizens who do not practice Falun Gong themselves, but who have families, friends, or acquaintances who practice have also sent Falun Dafa Day greetings to Mr. Li, such as the one pictured above. Through interactions with Falun Gong practitioners in China, these supporters have come to appreciate the goodness of Falun Gong and condemn the CCP’s ongoing persecution of the peaceful practice. Many have also quit the CCP and its related organizations.

A Look Inside

Outside of China, Falun Gong is a thriving, global community of people with diverse backgrounds. In this profile we hear from Johanna, an artist from Austria who now lives in Colorado with her husband. She shares about how she first came across Falun Gong and the impact the practice has had on her life.

How did you encounter the practice?

I learned about Falun Gong in Salzburg, Austria, from my mother when I was a teenager in 2001. Before the time I started practicing the meditation exercises regularly, I felt emotionally unstable and unable to follow any assignments or personal goals at the art school I was enrolled in. I longed to improve myself but felt trapped in a circle of friends, only engaging in a party lifestyle. 

My mother started practicing Falun Gong in 1999. I was amazed to watch how she increasingly seemed so much more content in life, but I was hesitant to try the mediation movements at first. 

In 2001, I tried Falun Gong exercises for the first time together with her. I remember that day very well as I had tears of gratitude while I was following along with an instructional DVD my mother put on. I didn’t understand at the time why I felt so moved. I later knew it was a feeling of profound relief.

How has Falun Gong practicing enriched your life?

When I started studying the main book of Falun Gong Zhuan Falun, the changes in my life were tremendous and very obvious to everyone who knew me. Because I aimed to incorporate the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance into my decisions, setting positive goals for myself seemed now easy. I learned to think of others more and be respectful to my parents and teachers. I graduated from that art school excellently, but more importantly, I found meaning in improving my character. Later I became a classical sculptor and now live with my husband in Colorado, USA, where we own a traditional online art academy called New Masters Academy. My mother, who still lives in Austria, and I regularly study Zhuan Falun online. I think practicing Falun Gong was pivotal to my education as a traditional figurative sculptor because I learned to appreciate the beauty in art and discipline myself to create high-quality artwork.

How did you connect to this practice rooted in traditional Chinese culture? In what way could you relate to this spirituality that comes from the East?

When I read about Eastern philosophies in Zhuan Falun, such as Buddhist school cultivation and Daoist practices, I didn’t understand their meaning initially. Many of the terms mentioned in the book were foreign. Still, it didn’t discourage me from wanting to learn more because I connected with the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance deeply. What I found most powerful in the early stages of my practice is the philosophy of looking inward at shortcomings based on these principles during challenging and unfortunate situations instead of constantly longing to have more desires fulfilled. Living a life based on cultivating a noble character is so much more fulfilling as my responses to any circumstance become more controlled, guided, and clear as I see the world through compassion.

Read More

This 18-minute video offers a closer look into what practicing Falun Gong is really like by hearing from practitioners themselves. More than just meditating, practitioners share how practicing Falun Gong helped them to be more honest, kind, and tolerant people.

Watch Now