Facts About Hippies: History, Philosophy, Culture, And More | Kidadl


Facts About Hippies: History, Philosophy, Culture, And More

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In late '60, the hippie counterculture had emerged, spreading over hundreds and thousands of young Americans all around the country.

The hippie counterculture movement had its origin on U.S. college campuses and spread over other countries like Britain and Canada. During the '60s and '70s, the hippie counterculture movement rejected American life's mainstream society.

The hippies were white, young, middle-class women and men in the vast majority, who resented the pressure of normal employment, appearance or lifestyle and were isolated from the middle-class society's mainstream. In many states, the hippie counterculture had helped pass laws regulating organic productions. Hippies had joined the frustrated revolutionists and draft dodgers of the Vietnam War, who embraced living back on the land, including vegetarianism, organic farming, historical medicine, free love, and the use of marijuana.

Hippies were characterized as wearing clothes with conspicuous colors, having long hair, adhering to communal living and free sex, habitually using drugs or even being addicted to drugs, doubting American commercialism, materialism, political and cultural institutions. Whole grain bread, casual clothing like jeans, yoga, and organic food are all considered to be stem from hippie culture. Rather than having political activism, hippies prioritized breaking away from the mainstream culture and government.

Hippie is derived from the word 'hipster or 'hip' that the beatniks used to call the persons who are the parts of their scene. The word meaning of Hippie is 'to know,' and thus hip is the person who realizes, understands, or who is wise.

'60s Hippies Facts

The word hippie was first used by Herb Caan, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. In the mid of '60, the youth movement called the hippie movement originally started in the United States and Britain. The term was used to refer to young people who had long hair, dressed casually in jeans and T-shirts and were vocal against their protests against the Vietnam War at that time.

The young Americans moved to San Francisco, and 15,000 hippies moved to the Haight by June 1966.

In late 1966, the Diggers had opened a store to provide free food to give away their stock, transport, medical care, temporary housing, and organized free music concerts and political artworks.

San Frasico's Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, which promoted drugs, music, and alternative lifestyles, popularised the hippie culture in 1967. That led to the summer love, conducted on the U.S. west coast.

In July 1967, a cover story was published in Time magazine during the 'Summer of Love' and reported that the hippie movement was 'blooming in every major U.S. city from Detroit to New Orleans, from Boston to Seattle.'

In August, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, was held on the east coast of New York. It was a three-day event that made hippie cultural diversity even more popular and is still often referred to today as a symbolic event of the time.

Mexican hippies, known as Jipitec, formed an event called La Onda that gathered at Avandaro.

The nomadic housetruckers had practiced alternative lifestyles that promoted sustainable energy at Nambassa in New Zealand. The actions of hippies had centered on the Diggers, a Guerilla street theater group, and 'free city' was the agenda of the art events.

Between 1967 to 1971, about 300 outdoor music performances took place throughout the United States. The cultural and religious diversity of these events received a lot of acceptance, and spiritual concepts and eastern philosophy drew larger audiences.

In bigger cities, hippies constructed communes or living quarters; these areas were called hippie districts or villages. Greenwich Village in New York City, Old Town in Chicago, and Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco became popular locations for hippies to live. In all these locations, head shops, music venues, gardens, and restaurants were constructed with cheap and alternating ways of living.

Environmental Hippies Facts

A great amount of change was caused by the hippie movement in its surroundings of Ashbury-Haight Street in San Francisco and spread worldwide. Political beliefs, philosophy, and eastern religion were the cause of environmentalism that impacted environmental thinking.

Various organizations, campaigns, and events are conducted by many young activists that support the environment and protect the environment from war, pollution, and disaster. The hippie movement had encouraged the exploration of environmental thinking of ecology and environmentalism.   

The pro-environment movement was spawned by the hippie culture. In 1970, Earth Day was established by hippie counterculture. The culture of hippies revolved around the philosophy of caring about our planet and looking after the earth through vegetarianism, forest preservation, organic food, and recycling. Hippies spent a lot of time at one with the environment by packing for picnics and spending a full day experiencing nature, playing music, and dancing, which is good for the soul.

Facts About Hippies In The '70s

From the '60s and into the '70s the fashion of hippies moved towards a very distinct flavor and the use of bright colors with Indian, floral, and native patterns. In 1970, women's fashions included Mexican peasant blouses, tie-dyed shirts, Hungarian blouses with folk-embroidery, capes, military clothes and ponchos, and bottom attire gauchos bell-bottoms, frayed jeans, maxis with ankle-length and midi skirts. Women's accessories in the early 1970 included dog collars, chokers, and handcrafted necklaces.

In 1970, during the Wight Festival in the United Kingdom, a crowd of about 4,00,000 people had gathered. At Stonehenge, New Age travelers had made summer pilgrimages to music festivals in the later years.

In 'Iron Curtain' countries of Eastern Europe, psychedelic and hippie culture had influenced the young culture in the '60s and early '70s.

A major event was held in Chile in 1970 called the 'Piedra Roja Festival.'

In 1973, many hippies gathered in Australia at Nimbin for the Aquarius Festival.

The hippie era of the mass counter culture movement ended due to different factors in 1970-1973.

Hippies had experienced a backlash from other youth movements like the punk subculture. Punk rock, disco music, and heavy metal competed with folk music and psychedelic music by the early '70s.

The Transporter or the Volkswagen Type 2 was the favorite transportation mode of hippies and is the icon of the American counterculture movement.

Vietnam War Hippies Facts

The reason for the hippie movement was the opposition that they expressed towards the Vietnam War. Hippies stand for peace, and the losing lives of innocent people hurt them; another reason is the draft. The draft was an actual problem of the hippies as it targeted those from middle-classes. More troops were sent for the war to be killed or wounded and more people joined the movement to protest against the war.

In this movement, some veterans are also included by throwing away the medals they had won in the war fighting.

The most important group of hippies were the diggers, an organization formed in 1966 that passed out free food and operated a free store to provide clothing for the AWOL soldiers and the draft dodgers.

Many hippies had participated in the teach-ins at universities and colleges that explained the opposition to the Vietnam War and took part in marches and antiwar protests. In 1969, they joined in the 'moratorium,' a demonstration against the war nationwide. The hippies were made up of teenagers and young adults in 1960.


Q. How did hippies start?

A. The hippie counterculture had begun as a youth movement in the early 1960 in the United States and spread worldwide.

Q. What did hippies care about?

A. Hippie counterculture advocated love, simple, ideological values, and nonviolence and rejects conventional society who are called flower children sometimes.

Q. What exactly is a hippie?

A. A hippie is a young person who rejects the more established society by dressing unconventionally with long hair, loving communal living, and advocating peace and love.

Q. What do hippies eat?

A. Hippies embraced legumes and whole grains; organic and fresh vegetables, tempeh, and tofu soy foods; sprouted grains and wheat germ as nutrition-boosters, and flavors from Latin American, Asian, and Eastern European cuisines.

Q. What did hippies call themselves?

A. Hippies preferred to call themselves 'love children' or 'freaks.'

Q. What music did hippies listen to?

A. An integral part of the Hippie counterculture was folk and rock music. Some folks like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, fusions of the '60s and '70s, some classic rock plus, psychedelic and new age rock are the music they like to listen to.

Q. What killed the hippie movement?

A. In the mid '70s, the renewal of patriotic sentiment and the end of the Vietnam War, and the draft had put the hippie counterculture to sleep. Hippie counterculture had suffered many setbacks like crime and drug addiction, destruction of the hippie capital, Altamont murders, and Charles Manson. Many hippies realized that the idealism of the hippie counterculture was not practical, and they moved to real-world jobs.

Q. Do you have to be vegan to be a hippie?

A. No, many hippies are vegetarians as they are fighting over the years for animals and animal rights.

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