Burning Man 2011 ended in a burst of flames this weekend. But that is, of course, how the Burning Man festival is supposed to end.
The near 50,000 revelers packed up and left Black Rock City in the Nevada desert Monday, leaving behind a pile of ashes for next year's week-long party. This year marked the 25th annual Burning Man, the festival where people gather on the playa to celebrate music, the arts and self-expression.
The center pieces of the event are The Man and the temple, both of which are burned during the final weekend of Burning Man. The Man is a giant wooden effigy, and the now enormous party started way back in 1986 as a simple beach bonfire burning of a smaller version of this statue.
Each year there is a different temple at the center of Black Rock City as well. This year it was the Temple of Transition, a 120 foot tall, multi-building structure that resembles an alien church, that represented the 2011 festival theme of rites of passage.
What we call 'The Temple' is a collective Idea, a Feeling, an Aura projected from the Participants onto the blank template of the building itself. It is therefore our mission to create the Temple as an empty, yet simultaneously beautiful, inspiring, and supportive vessel, that gently suggests & enables Participants to both feel & interact with it's intangible essence, International Arts Megacrew said on Kickstarter.