Breath-Taking Moments From the Rainbow Gatherings Festival
A year ago I wrote about The Rainbow Gatherings and featured a collection of photos taken in the last Rainbow Gatherings festivals. Today I was more than amazed to discover an another impressive compilation of photos from this magical festival. Matjaz Krivic, a Slovenia-based photographer not only compiled a breath-taking series of photos but also wrote a great narrative perfectly describing what is Rainbow Gatherings and what it’s like to participate in it.
Below you’ll find the excerpts taken from Matjaz description and a beautiful compilation of photos.
The Rainbow gathering is a festival 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 and language groups.
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 festival in the past. The only thing that is for certain is that the annual International Rainbow Festival starts roughly two weeks before the August full moon and ends two weeks after it.
You get lost a couple of times, sink knee deep in mud, but in the end you manage to find the festival location. On entrance you are welcomed by the welcoming committee, who informs you about the Rainbow rules. The rules are not too hard or demanding, for they are in line with the main goal of the movement: respect nature, separate organic from non-organic waste, respect others as they are, take a dump in the special holes in the ground and cover it with ashes or soil (which is all prepared next to the »shit pit«), do not bring any alcohol or drugs with you… and similar moral and ecological commandments – which are, of course, broken sometimes!
The beginnings of the Rainbow movement reach back to the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 70s. The first world meeting of the family was held somewhere in Colorado in 1972. This meeting was followed by annual meetings throughout the North American forests and later on they spread around the world. The first European meeting was held in Italy in 1983, following which the meetings took place across most of Europe. Slovenia hosted the Rainbow festival for the first time in 1994 in the forests in the Kočevje region.
The festival 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.
Music plays an extremely important role at the Rainbow festival. 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 festival.