Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles: "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.
The event was first held in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends. Burning Man has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September, coinciding with the US Labor Day holiday.
At Burning Man the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression, created in celebration for the pleasure of all participants. Participation is a key precept for the community – selfless giving of one's unique talents for the enjoyment of all is encouraged and actively reinforced. Some of these generous outpourings of creativity can include experimental and interactive sculpture, building, performance, and art cars among other mediums, often inspired by the yearly theme, chosen by organizers. The event takes its name from its culmination, the symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy ("the Man") that traditionally occurs on the Saturday evening of the event.
Smaller regional events inspired by the principles of Burning Man have been held internationally, some of which are also officially endorsed by the Burning Man Project as regional branches of the event.