During the evening, the Holy Land became more lively; people walked continuously on the streets, seemingly not wanting to miss a minute of these special festivities. So many sounds mixed together and created a joyful atmosphere. The chanting of poetic holy scriptures and the reading of teachings echoed from the preaching halls; the jubilant calls of the children who had been allowed to stay awake all night long to attend the festival and see the flower floats parading on the river bank and the light-boats cruising on the river. Along the main riverside road, multicolored flower floats formed a queue and moved very slowly to the shouts and applause of the audience standing on both sides. The floats were very beautiful with ornaments made of real flowers -- yellow and purple chrysanthemums, white lilies, orange and red banana flowers, white areca flowers – and adorned by colorful flickering electrical lights. Each float had a meaningful theme about the religion or a paragraph of the Prophet's teachings, one among the thousands in verses and prose. One float symbolized the land of paradise, another carried a huge picture of the Prophet made of silk, yet another carried the statue of Buddha. All of them expressed devotion to the religion as well as the love for the Founder.
When the flower parade reached the Ancestral Temple, the river was lit up by the parade of light-boats and by the light-rafts (aquatic floats). These gleaming boats came from all over the adjacent provinces of the western region to participate in the festivities. They illustrated typical life scenes of the respective provinces, and some of them were very large. My sisters preferred the aquatic floats built on huge flat barges, drawn from the side by motor-tugboats that were normally used to carry big agricultural machines or cattle. Some aquatic floats were made on medium-size boats, taller than others around them. The colorful lights from these original aquatic floats reflected on the surface of the water, where the rippling waves broke them into millions of pieces of dazzling colors spread over across three kilometers along the river. This was a splendid and captivating picture, which I had never had the chance to see elsewhere in our country.
On the banks of the river, several hundred thousand people jostled against each other trying to find good places to watch the magnificent parade. Some of them even fell into the shallow river to the jovial laughs of others. Suddenly, the skyrocket fireworks crashed high above, overpowering the monotonous echoes of the recitation of religious teachings, projecting hundreds of clusters of multihued lights into the dark sky. How stunning and captivating was the scene, with scintillating colorful lights all over, in the sky, on the water, and on the river bank. To my younger sisters, and even to me, in our innocent age, that long and unforgettable night was ecstasy. We were allowed to stay very late into the night to enjoy the exceptional fiesta, in which everyone seemed to participate wholeheartedly. Deep into the late night, we came home for a short rest before waking up at dawn to attend the important worship ceremonies.