The Effigy burn is the climax of our festival. On Saturday night the energy builds and gradually people from all different walks of life trickle down to stand around the perimeter. This is the first time during the event that everyone comes together. Witness the collision of subcultures, the roaring of fawns on bouncing stilts, an epic fire-dancing performance and await the hush before ignition. Then we watch as the structure catches alight. This ritual means whatever you want it to mean: combust in unity, burn your fears, free your radical self-expression – but, whatever you do, don’t cross the burn perimeter until the fire-safety people say you can.
The Temple started at Burning Man, as a one person’s monument to a lost friend, and quickly became a shared project. It is a place for letting go of grief. Visit the Temple during the event. Write on the walls, leave a shrine to your dearly-departed, leave your old diaries, grieve. You don’t have to, but it is a truly wonderful thing to have a space for emotion at a festival. The Temple doesn’t belong to any religion. It means what you want it to mean. Please be respectful of other people’s offerings. Do not deface them. Show some empathy. The Temple burns on the Sunday night. Unlike the epic Effigy burn party of the night before, the Temple is about quiet reflection. Silence is part of the process of letting go.
Do you have the experience, technical skills and leadership ability to build the next Effigy or Temple?
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