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Tribal Festivals

As global monoculture erodes cultural diversity, the diversity of tribal festivals and rituals is a reminder that humans have different insights, different priorities, and choose other – successful – ways of living. For many tribes, life is lived through ritual. Rituals are held in honor of the lands that sustain tribal peoples and the spirits…

Kumbh Mela 2013: Picking Flowers

Allahabad is a city of 1.2 million people, and despite the proximity of its bigger, noisier neighbour, the Kumbh Mela, life goes on there—including death. The funeral ghats on the Ganges were moved away from the sangam—the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers—for the duration of the festival, but they are still within the…

Kumbh Mela 2013: Form an Orderly Queue

It’s 4am on January 27, an auspicious date for bathing called Paush Purnima. The full moon hangs big and sharp above the shroud of smoke that covers the Kumbh. It’s still dark, and people are moving quietly and calmly from all directions towards the sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. The temporary…

Kumbh Mela 2013: Bathing in the Ganges

If you climb up to high ground above the river plain, you begin to get a sense of the scale of the Kumbh Mela, especially at night. It stretches off in all directions. The sky above it is as light as the sky over a large metropolis, only there are no highrises here—nothing much higher than a lamp-post, in fact. The noise from hundreds of loudspeakers is incessant and very loud—like a human rainforest, technically enhanced.

Kumbh Mela 2013: World’s Largest ‘City’ Rises Alongside Ganges

The stars are aligned. The first aiders are on standby. The latrines are dug. And the city of Allahabad is waiting to see how many tens of millions of people will descend on it between now and March 10. One thing is certain: the Kumbh Mela, a giant gathering of Hindu pilgrims that takes place every 12 years in four cities in northern India, and that is celebrated this year in Allahabad, is unique.

Check Out D.C.’s Massive Green Fest This Weekend

This weekend marks the tenth iteration of what is arguably the best exposition and celebration of green living on the East Coast: the Green Fest in Washington, DC. Put on by Green America (formerly Co-op America), tens of thousands of people will gather in DC’s convention center to hear inspiring speeches, attend informative panels, eat…