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A festival in the Israeli wilderness promoted love around the world, and I took a lot of photos there

Check out my cool photos of people camping, singing and being awesome together at the annual Rainbow Gathering last week.


April 18, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Two sisters pose with their guitar.Two sisters pose with their guitar.Photo: Ilana E. Strauss
April 18, 2017 | Latest Photo

At Rainbow Gatherings, massive crowds camp and celebrate together in the wilderness, a little like Burning Man. All is free (even food and water), and campers form communities overnight.

The first gathering was held in the U.S. in 1972, and these gatherings have since spread around the world. That's how I ended up at the Israeli Rainbow Gathering last week, where I took a lot of photos ...

Jam sessions broke out spontaneously all the time.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Jam sessions broke out spontaneously all the time.

People pitched all kinds of elaborate tents.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Flowers bloom all over the place during springtime in Israel.

Xylophones are underrated.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Xylophones are underrated. If you walk through the woods, and you hear a xylophone, you'll walk toward it. And by you, I mean me.

Signs occasionally pointed the way between forest paths.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Signs occasionally pointed the way between forest paths. I still got lost, of course.

A woman paints a watercolor in her sketchbook.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

A group of us painted watercolors for a while.

People did art projects in workshops and on their own.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

People did art projects in workshops and on their own.

Sunsets in nature are the best.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

The gathering was in the middle of western Israeli farmland.

Two people have a meditative moment while they wait for lunch.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

Two people have a meditative moment while they wait for lunch. People made lunch and dinner in huge batches and gave it all away. Because humans have been super into sharing for thousands of years.

A man plays a hand drum, a new instrument with an ancient, ethereal sound.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

A man plays a hand drum, a new instrument with an ancient, ethereal sound. I've actually written about these instruments before, but this was the first one I heard in person. I even got to try it out!

man doing handstand at the rainbow gathering(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

I came across a lot of interesting sights by surprise.

The gathering was in the middle of western Israeli farmland.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Sunsets in nature are the best.

Though some areas were quite crowded, there were plenty of quieter areas for sweet moments.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Though some areas were quite crowded, there were plenty of quieter spots for sweet moments.

Boiling water for coffee over a fire.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Someone boils water for coffee over a fire. I got a lot of practice building fires here.

Groups of tents became a bit like neighborhoods.(Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Groups of tents became a bit like neighborhoods.

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