Burning Man – English Reading Comprehension Exercise

Burning Man is a late-summer arts festival that takes place annually in the Black Rock Desert, northwestern Nevada, U.S. .

Burning Man was inaugurated in 1986, when Larry Harvey and Jerry James – two members of the San Francisco arts community – burned an eight-foot- (two-metre-) tall effigy of a man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in celebration of the summer solstice. Twenty people witnessed the event. Over the next four years Harvey and James (and expanding crowds) returned to the site with increasingly taller effigies. In 1990, however, when a 40-foot- (12-metre-) tall effigy was prepared, but the police intervened at the last minute and forbade the annual ceremony. Consequently, the event was moved that year to the Black Rock Desert, where the effigy was burned on the Labor Day weekend, in early September. Once it had relocated, the festival never returned to San Francisco or to the solstice. On the contrary it made the desert its long-term home and created a new landmark out of nothing. Every Burning Man festival has a unique theme, announced well in advance of the event, and virtually all aspects of the festival reflect that theme. For example, in 2000 the theme was “The Body,” and the streets of the city were given names such as “Head Way” and “Feet Street.” The many camps and villages within the city are founded on relevant subthemes and may be organized further around particular foods, sports, learning disciplines, or arts. Unlike most other festivals, Burning Man is virtually vendor-free. With minimal products for sale, people are expected to bring with them whatever they need for a week’s existence in the desert and to trade for anything they may need. Ultimately, Burning Man is an exercise in balancing cooperation, self-sustainability, individual expression, and creative collaboration in the formation of an artistic community.


Now try the quizzes below to test your knowledge!


Burning man | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.


Burning man | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.