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Rainbow Gathering in Santa Fe National Forest

Published by Mona Rae, Writer

Country: United States

The Experience

The Santa Fe National Forest is a unique forest reserve in the United States, as it hosts one of many Rainbow Gathering festivals. It is a gathering of the “tribes,” providing an opportunity to heal as a community and celebrate at the same time. At the Rainbow Gathering festival in Santa Fe New Mexico, there could be a wedding or a birth that is celebrated; or it’s also where the departed are honoured. Every person who attends the gathering is part of the “rainbow family”.

Some people have a misunderstanding that the Rainbow Gathering festival in Santa Fe Forest is a hippy festival. It certainly gives you a spiritual feeling when you are there, and you will run into people from many different ethnic backgrounds as this event hosts more than ten thousand people. Santa Fe National Forest is full of people—almost more than the trees. The crowd dissipates the woods.


It is sometimes very difficult to define what the festival is all about. Rainbow Gathering festivals are held in forests all across the United States and date back to 1960s. This counterculture movement draws together each year to focus on peace, love, and respect for nature. It also represents green living and non commercialism. People who visit the festival come with the bare minimum as it does not involve spending loads of money on a holiday. The diversity of this festival transcends religion, and the feeling you are left with is unity beyond races. Australians to Europeans, Asians, Americans and Africans—everyone participates.

This non traditional Santa Fe tourism attraction begins with an “Om” (a Hindu meditation act of self realization). Everybody meditates by speaking the word “Om" so loud that they feel it in their heart, mind and soul. Meditation starts in the central circle of the camp at sunrise on July fourth and participants are silent until the prayer circle is broken around noon. After the meditation, children parade and are cheered. Food is distributed thereafter, and world peace is celebrated.

In the Rainbow Gathering festival in Santa Fe National Forest nothing is about the individual, but rather, the world and the environment that surrounds us.

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When to Go to Rainbow Gathering

The best time of the year to travel to Santa Fe National Park is from July 1 to July 7 when the Rainbow Gathering Festival takes place.



Odds n' Ends

The entry to the Santa Fe forest is $5, but the event is not charged. People are advised to wear eco-friendly clothes as a mark of respect for the event. If you're not around Santa Fe, check in to outher locations for the festival throughout the United States.

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Language Guides

French , Hindi , Indonesian , Italian , Japanese , Lao , Malay , Mandarin , Portugese , Russian , Spanish , Thai , Turkish , Vietnamese are some of the languages spoken in United States. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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