In July 2009, the American Festivals Project attended the Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest. The annual event, held in national forests across the U.S., grew out of the 1960s counterculture movement and usually draws between 10,000 and 20,000 people focused on peace, love, and respect for nature.
Traditionally, thousands of people meet in the central circle of the Rainbow Gathering camp on the Fourth of July to meditate and pray for world peace. Everyone is expected to keep silent from sunrise on the Fourth to the moment when the prayer circle is broken, sometime after noon. During the 2009 gathering, dark storm clouds broke minutes after the prayer circle ended—and a double rainbow appeared in the sky.
Read more about the Rainbow Gathering on the American Festivals Project blog.
See photos of the 2009 Rainbow Gathering in Santa Fe National Forest in this American Festivals Project travel photo gallery from National Geographic.