Rainbow Gatherings have been happening all around the world and, now, Egypt is also getting a taste of the rainbow as one of these global events has convened in the country.
We received an invite weeks ago to an event called Rainbow Gathering; we thought it was some kind of gay pride parade or something along those lines. After reading up on it, we realised it was actually pretty interesting. A Rainbow Gathering has convened in Egypt for the winter solstice of 2015. The moon cycle, that started on the 11th of December and will end on the 9th of January, is witnessing the coming together of different tribes from across the world at an undisclosed location somewhere in Egypt's deserts.
The Rainbow Gathering is already underway, and will peak on the morning of Friday the 25th when the moon is at its fullest. It is essentially the coming together of people from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions. In their own words, "The Rainbow Gatherings are an essential human expression, a natural tendency of humans and animals to gather in nature and feel peace and freedom by being, unconditionally, who we really are, to live and let live, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
So what exactly takes place at these gatherings? The invite we received explained that "A Rainbow is a one moon cycle celebration, where people from all nations, colours, creeds, religions, shapes, and cultures come together in natural and remote corners of the planet, close to the heartbeat of Mother Earth, to put in practice the way of life that comes from its vision." True to the essence of the event, the invite we received contained more information written in a semi-poetic nature - "It's about tolerance and freedom, personal and collective growth; it's about community living based on openness, non-violence and non-commercialism; about sustainability, respect and reconnection with Mother Earth." So basically, activate your inner hippie.
However, do not confuse this for a party or a festival; as a matter of fact, you're not allowed to bring alcohol or drugs, and both will not be served there. This is a family gathering, a temporary community of travellers, artists, nature lovers, musicians, healers, and more, gathering to celebrate life away from the technocrat civilisation. Cellphones and other tech gadgets are not welcome - they mostly don't work in the desert, anyway - and there's no need for iPods and speakers with all the instruments and jam sessions happening all the time. Also, no cameras are welcome since the goal is to enjoy every moment without attachment. So no, you won't be able to Snapchat your being-a-desert-hippie experience. Sadsies, we know. You'll live though.
You are welcome to bring positive vibes and happy thoughts with you (can we hear a Kumbaya?) and you can bring your children if you want, but no pets. The communion is based on a gift economy; it's not a rule, but it is accepted in such communions to put up a donation after every meal - you get two vegan meals per day, and the whole camp is vegetarian. You are also encouraged to bring with you gifts for the whole camp that you think camp might need.
These types of meetings are not new to the world, they have been happening for years; neither are they new to Egypt. Rainbow Gatherings are not an organisation - anyone that holds the same values can become a Rainbow, and any communion of Rainbows in a remote natural location is a Gathering. This Rainbow Gathering has already started but will continue until the 9th of January, so that means you can still go and join. However, there's a catch: the event is happening in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Egyptian desert - to receive the coordinates for the camp, you must first send an e-mail to an address specified in the invitation, after which you will receive the directions and a list of things to expect. All the Facebook groups and event pages are private, so in order to join your best bet would be to try and look up Rainbow Gathering Egypt on Facebook, join some groups, and start communicating with the people on it.
There is no leader or organiser, but rather a community decision is made regarding who will be invited, and basically what is said is that anybody with a warm heart and an open mind can come. So, go hunt for their Facebook group, get your invites in order, find the Rainbow!