In-Depth look at The 10 Guiding Principles, Part II

The Electric Fencepost

GIFTING icon hand dropping a heart into an open hand
Burning Man and associated Regional Events base themselves on some fundamental guidelines, or the 10 Principles. In this series over the next 10 weeks we will focus on each Principle in detail.
This week features Principle 2: Gifting

A Burn event does not have vendors, and no money changes hands for anything, other than perhaps ice. Instead, the act of gifting is at the centre of everything. The value of a gift is unconditional, and gifting does not warrant a return or an exchange for something else.

Value has a different meaning too. Getting some sun-block off a fellow reveler might be more important than a trinket. A slurp of drink, a bite to eat or a hug are all important things that can be given away and which make the event so special. A gift maybe listening to someone’s story. It might be the gift of time, entertaining others with music or looking out for each others well-being at all times.

Whatever it is, this principle makes a Burn different and so special compared to other gatherings in random paddocks. No money exchanges hands and no reciprocal gift giving is expected, thus changing the meaning and value of gifts.