Photo: midburn.org
Midburn is a regional Burning Man event held in Israel. It takes place annually in May or June, typically around the Hebrew holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost). Attracting over 8,000 participants, its is one of the biggest regional events outside the United States.

Burning Man is an annual counterculture festival held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, United States. Its popularity has encouraged enthusiasts all over the world to create local events similar to Burning Man. The Israeli official regional event is called Midburn. Its name is a portmanteau of two words, the Hebrew word “midbar” (desert) and the English word “burn”. The first half of the name refers to the Negev desert where the festival is held.

The idea of holding a regional Burning Men was conceived in 2011 by a group of young people in Israel who had participated in the original Burning Man festival. The first gathering of Israeli burners, Mama Burn, was held in April 2012 at the HaBonim beach in Haifa. It attracted around 600 attendees. There were several unofficial mini festivals after that and in 2013 the organizers of Burning Man officially gave their blessing to organize a regional event in Israel.

The first edition of Midburn was held from June 16–19, 2014 and attracted around 3,000 burners. As of 2016, its attendance is about 8,000 people. The festival is held in a temporary city set up in the Negev desert, not far from the Sde Boker kibbutz.

Like its parent festival, Midburn is an event that focuses on art, creativity and personal expression. Its philosophy is based on the Ten Principles formulated by the Burning Man founder Larry Harvey in 2004 which reflect the culture and ethos of burners' community. They are radical inclusion, communal effort, gifting, civic responsibility, decommodification, leaving no trace, radical self-reliance, participation, radical self-expression, and immediacy.

The temporary city where Midburn is held consists of two main parts, art and theme camps. Giant sculptures, installations and other artwork created by participants illustrate the festival's focus on creative expression. They provide an interactive, dynamic experience designed to change our perception of art.

Midburn is also about community and its theme camps are a result of communal effort. Each group of burners is encouraged to create and host a welcoming interactive experience open to everyone. All camps must comply with the Ten Principles.

Like other Burning Man events, Midburn culminates with the burning of wooden sculptures that were created for the festival. Of course, all safety precautions are taken to ensure that no one gets hurt.


Photo: midburn.org




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