The Rainbow gathering … is that where you live embraced by nature under the blue sky, surrounded by music night and day, meet new beautiful and colourful people all the time… people from all over the world, of all colours, races, religions, beliefs, language groups… Yes, I have heard about it! It sounds terrific – shall we go?
Only a select group knows the location, for it is revealed and given on hand drawn maps only to those who have visited a Rainbow gathering in the past. The only thing that is for certain is that the annual International Rainbow gathering starts before August full moon.You get lost a couple of times, sink knee deep in mud, but in the end you manage to find the location.
Image © Matjaz Krivic
The beginnings of the Rainbow movement reach back to the 1972 when the first world gathering was held somewhere in Colorado. This gathering was followed by annual meetings throughout the North American forests and later on they spread around the world. The first European gathering was held in Italy in 1983.
Some say that the native North Americans announced the birth of the rainbow family a long time ago. They spoke about the ‘rainbow warrior’, who will come and save the earth from the rapid devastation of nature… the Hopi Indians predicted a cleansing period, which will bring a lot of young long haired people who will join the tribe, with the wish to learn their ways and wisdoms; they also predicted that they will have a similar name to theirs – and they did, for they were the Hippies!
The gathering overflows with colours, respect for others, ideas and creativity. All events are spontaneous. You can attend spiritual workshops, dance in dance groups, practice yoga, massage, meditation, Tai Chi, Reiki, learn about medicinal herbs, make jewellery, make puppets or just play with them… you can also join an improvised theatre group or learn how to juggle, drum, carve and more… All workshops are free. Nobody charges anything for his or her services. If you have health problems, you visit the medical tipi, if you have a child, you take him to the »Children’s Area«, which is full of toys, swings… Everything is taken care of.
Image © Matjaz Krivic
Music plays an extremely important role at the Rainbow Gathering. The best moments are created when the Irish with their violins, the Greeks with their flutes, the Russians with their cellos and mandolins, the Israeli women with their angelic voices, the French with their clarinets, the Croatians with their accordions, the English with their guitars, Italians with their drums and Hungarians with their mouth accordions gather around the fire.
Anywhere up to three thousand people can gather on the night of the August full moon, which represents the pinnacle of the gathering.
Rainbow Gatherings are temporary communities meeting somewhere in the nature to share the ideals of peace, harmony, freedom, respect and to consciously create an alternative to popular culture, media and materialism.
Photography & Written by Masa Stanic