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Post Cards From Burning Man – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Oneida Naylor



Imagine being transported to a vibrant and otherworldly desert playground where self-expression, art, and community thrive. Welcome to Burning Man – an annual gathering that has captured the imagination of millions around the world. This unique event, held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, is much more than just a festival. It is a temporary city that rises from the desert, a creative and experimental space where people come together to celebrate radical self-expression and inspire one another.


One of the most enchanting aspects of Burning Man is the tradition of sending and receiving postcards. These postcards, often adorned with intricate artwork and heartfelt messages, capture the essence of the Burning Man experience and serve as mementos for participants and supporters alike.


The exchange of postcards at Burning Man cultivates a sense of connection and embodies the spirit of gifting, a core principle of the event. Through these tangible pieces of art, participants can share their experiences, dreams, and aspirations with loved ones who couldn’t be physically present, bridging the gap between the playa and the outside world.


In this article, we will take a deep dive into the world of postcards at Burning Man. We’ll explore the history of sending postcards from the event, discuss the joy of collecting postcards, learn how to create your own DIY postcards, and provide tips for sending postcards from the desert. Whether you’re an avid Burner or simply intrigued by this fascinating gathering, join us as we embark on a journey through the captivating realm of Burning Man postcards.


What is Burning Man?

Burning Man is a week-long annual event that takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. It is a temporary city built by its participants, known as Burners, who gather from all corners of the globe to create a community fueled by radical self-expression, self-reliance, and communal effort. The event embraces the principles of gifting, decommodification, and leaving no trace.


At its core, Burning Man is a celebration of art, creativity, and radical inclusion. The event encourages participants to express themselves in ways that are often unconventional and inspiring, with elaborate art installations, mesmerizing performances, and thought-provoking workshops scattered throughout the playa (the name given to the desert landscape where Burning Man is held).


However, Burning Man is more than just a festival. It is a transformative experience that challenges societal norms and invites individuals to step outside of their comfort zones. It’s a place where participants can shed their everyday identities and explore new facets of themselves.


From the iconic Burning Man effigy that is ceremonially burned at the culmination of the event to the mesmerizing art cars that roam the desert, there is an undeniable magic that permeates the playa. It is a temporary oasis where creativity knows no bounds and where participants can immerse themselves in a world unlike any other.


Burning Man is not without its challenges. The extreme weather conditions, the absence of commercial vendors, and the emphasis on self-reliance can be daunting for newcomers. Yet, it is precisely these challenges that foster a sense of community and personal growth. Participants must come prepared with their own supplies, embody the principles of radical self-reliance and leave no trace, and contribute to the overall experience through acts of communal effort.


Burning Man is a place where dreams become reality, boundaries are pushed, and creativity flourishes. It is a celebration of human connection, freedom of expression, and the power of community. And through the tradition of postcards, the spirit of Burning Man can be shared with the world beyond the desert.


The Magic of Postcards

There is something undeniably magical about receiving a postcard. It’s a tangible piece of someone’s journey, a snapshot of a moment captured in time. Postcards have a way of transporting us to far-off places, even if just for a moment, and allowing us to connect with the sender in a unique and personal way.


Now imagine the magic of receiving a postcard from Burning Man. These postcards, adorned with beautiful artwork and heartfelt messages, bring the playa to life in a way that words alone cannot fully capture. They are like mini works of art, created with love and intention, serving as windows into the soul of the Burner who crafted them.


Each postcard is a glimpse into the vibrant and creative world of Burning Man. They showcase the stunning art installations that dot the playa, the breathtaking sunsets that paint the desert sky, and the exhilarating moments of connection and self-expression that define the event. Whether it’s a simple sketch or a detailed painting, each postcard is a testament to the beauty and diversity of human creativity.


But the magic of postcards from Burning Man goes beyond the visual appeal. It’s in the heartfelt messages of love and gratitude, the tales of personal growth and transformation, and the shared experiences that bring the Burner community together. These postcards serve as reminders of the connections made at the event, the friendships forged amidst the dust, and the profound impact that Burning Man has on the lives of its participants.


Receiving a postcard from Burning Man is like receiving a piece of the event itself. It’s a way for Burners to invite others into their personal journey, to share a slice of the joy, inspiration, and wonder that they experienced while on the playa. It’s a tangible reminder that even though the event may last only a week, its impact can be felt long after the dust settles.


So let the magic of postcards from Burning Man transport you to a world of beauty, creativity, and human connection. Let them be a source of inspiration, a reminder that within each of us lies a spark of creativity waiting to be unleashed. And most importantly, let them serve as a bridge between the transformative experience of Burning Man and the outside world, inviting others to peek into the extraordinary world that exists in the heart of the desert.


History of Sending Postcards from Burning Man

The tradition of sending postcards from Burning Man dates back to the early years of the event. It began as a way for Burners to share their experiences with friends and loved ones who couldn’t attend the gathering. What started as a small gesture soon evolved into a beloved tradition that captures the spirit of Burning Man and serves as a lasting memento for participants and supporters alike.


In the early days of Burning Man, postcards were often handmade by participants. These postcards would feature personal messages, artwork, or photographs that showcased the unique experiences and sights encountered on the playa. The DIY nature of these postcards added an extra layer of creativity and authenticity, making each card a cherished keepsake.


As the event gained popularity and the Burner community expanded, the tradition of sending postcards also grew. Burning Man participants embraced the idea of sharing their journey through these tangible pieces of art, giving them a physical representation of their memories and experiences on the playa. Postcards became a way to connect with loved ones outside of the event, to inspire others with the transformative power of Burning Man, and to create a bridge between the temporary desert city and the outside world.


Over the years, the variety and creativity of Burning Man postcards have flourished. From elaborate paintings and intricate collages to playful photographs and heartfelt messages, each postcard reflects the unique perspective and artistic expression of its creator. The themes of self-expression, radical inclusion, and communal effort that define Burning Man are often woven into the designs and messages of these postcards, serving as a reminder of the event’s core values.


Today, sending and receiving postcards from Burning Man has become an integral part of the event experience. Participants eagerly seek out postcard stations or makeshift mailboxes throughout the playa, where they can drop off their creations to be sent to their intended recipients. The joy of finding a postcard in the mail, weeks or even months after the event, is a reminder of the lasting impact and connections made at Burning Man.


The tradition of sending postcards from Burning Man continues to evolve and thrive, reflecting the ever-changing nature of the event and the creative spirit of its participants. It serves as a reminder that even amidst the ephemeral nature of the playa, the memories and experiences shared can be captured and treasured through these small pieces of art and messages of love.


Collecting Postcards at Burning Man

Collecting postcards at Burning Man has become a cherished tradition for many participants. With the plethora of unique and artistic postcards circulating the playa, it’s no wonder that collecting these tangible treasures has become a beloved pastime.


One of the joys of collecting postcards at Burning Man is the element of surprise and discovery. As you explore the vast expanse of the playa, you may stumble upon postcard stations or exchange camps where Burners have set up makeshift mailboxes. These stations often display an array of postcards, each with its own story and artistic flair. It’s like stumbling upon a hidden treasure trove of creativity.


The process of collecting postcards can be both intentional and serendipitous. Some Burners set out with the goal of collecting as many postcards as possible, making a conscious effort to seek out postcard stations and exchange camps. Others simply stumble upon postcards as they wander the playa, finding them in unexpected places or receiving them as gifts from fellow Burners.


The beauty of collecting postcards at Burning Man is the diversity and individuality of each card. Each one is a unique piece of art, reflecting the creativity and personal expression of the Burner who crafted it. From elaborate paintings and intricate collages to simple sketches and heartfelt messages, each postcard tells a story and captures a moment in time.


Collecting postcards at Burning Man is not just about accumulating physical objects; it’s about forging connections and creating memories. Many postcards come with personal messages from the sender, expressing gratitude, love, or sharing a profound experience from the playa. These messages deepen the connection between the sender and the collector, serving as a reminder of the transformative power and shared experiences of Burning Man.


Some collectors display their postcards as a visual representation of their journey through the event. They may create a gallery wall or a dedicated space in their camp where they can showcase the postcards they’ve collected over the years. This display not only serves as a personal keepsake but also sparks conversations with fellow Burners and invites others to share in the magic of Burning Man.


Collecting postcards at Burning Man is not just about the physical act of acquiring the cards; it’s about immersing yourself in the communal spirit and creative energy of the event. It’s about forming connections, celebrating diversity, and embracing the transformative experience that Burning Man offers. So as you journey through the playa, keep an eye out for these beautiful tokens of creativity and connection – and let each postcard you collect be a lasting reminder of the vibrant community and unforgettable moments that make Burning Man truly special.


DIY Postcards from Burning Man

Creating your own DIY postcards from Burning Man can be a fun and artistic way to share your experiences on the playa. It allows you to personalize your postcards and infuse them with your own unique style and creativity.


There are several approaches you can take when making DIY postcards at Burning Man. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Handmade Artwork: Use your artistic skills to create a one-of-a-kind postcard. Whether it’s a painting, a sketch, or a collage, let your creativity run wild and capture the essence of your Burning Man experience. Incorporate symbols, themes, or imagery that resonate with you and the event.
  2. Photography: Take stunning photographs of the art installations, the breathtaking desert landscape, or candid moments with fellow Burners. Print them as postcards and add personal messages or captions to make them even more memorable.
  3. Mixed Media: Combine different materials and techniques to create textured and unique postcards. Use elements you find on the playa, such as feathers, sequins, or small trinkets, and incorporate them into your artwork. Experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns to make your postcards stand out.
  4. Collage: Cut out images, words, and phrases from magazines, newspapers, or other printed materials you find at Burning Man. Collage them together to create visually striking postcards that evoke the energy and atmosphere of the event.

When making DIY postcards at Burning Man, don’t forget to include a personal message on the back. Share your thoughts, reflections, or a special moment from the event. Express your gratitude, love, or appreciation for the recipient. These heartfelt messages add an extra layer of meaning to your postcards and make them even more special.


While creating DIY postcards at Burning Man, it’s important to be mindful of the principles of the event. Use sustainable materials or upcycle found objects to minimize waste and leave no trace. Choose non-toxic and environmentally-friendly art supplies when possible.


Once your DIY postcards are ready, you can distribute them in various ways. You can leave them at postcard stations or exchange camps on the playa for others to find. You can hand them out to fellow Burners you meet and connect with. Or you can send them through the official Burning Man postal system, known as the Playa Postal Service, where they’ll be delivered to recipients around the world.


Creating DIY postcards from Burning Man allows you to share your journey and connect with others through your artistic expression. It’s a beautiful and heartfelt way to spread the magic of the event beyond the playa and leave a lasting impression on those who receive your postcards.


Tips for Sending Postcards from Burning Man

Sending postcards from Burning Man is a thoughtful and cherished tradition that allows you to share the magic of the event with loved ones. To ensure that your postcards reach their intended recipients and deliver the full Burning Man experience, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be Prepared: Before heading to Burning Man, gather the necessary supplies for creating and sending postcards. Bring postcard-sized paper or cardstock, art supplies, pens, and anything else you may need for your DIY postcards.
  2. Protect Your Postcards: The dusty conditions of the desert can take a toll on your postcards. Consider laminating or using plastic sleeves to protect them from dust, moisture, and other elements. This will ensure that your postcards arrive in good condition.
  3. Include Your Return Address: Don’t forget to include your return address on the postcards. This allows recipients to send you their own postcards or letters in return, creating an ongoing exchange of Burning Man magic.
  4. Use Permanent Markers: When writing messages or addressing the postcards, use permanent markers or pens that won’t smudge or fade. This ensures that the writing remains legible even after the postcards have gone through the postal system.
  5. Double-Check Addresses: Make sure to write recipient addresses accurately to prevent any delivery issues. Take extra care with international addresses, as format and requirements may vary. Double-check the addresses or use pre-printed labels for added accuracy.
  6. Send Postcards Early: Burning Man occurs annually at the end of August and into early September. Keep in mind that it may take some time for your postcards to reach their destinations, especially for international mail. Sending them early ensures that they have plenty of time to be delivered.
  7. Engage with the Playa Postal Service: Take advantage of the official Burning Man postal system, known as the Playa Postal Service. They offer an efficient way to send your postcards from the event. Look for their designated post office on the playa and follow their guidelines for mailing your postcards.
  8. Write Thoughtful Messages: Along with the visual artwork, include personalized messages on your postcards. Share your experiences, reflections, and the significance of the event for you. Express your love, gratitude, or excitement to create a heartfelt connection with the recipient.
  9. Spread the Love: Don’t limit yourself to just sending postcards to family and close friends. Spread the Burning Man love by sending postcards to strangers, fellow Burners you’ve met on the playa, or even to random addresses. You never know how your postcards can brighten someone’s day or inspire them to experience Burning Man themselves.
  10. Capture Memories: Don’t forget to take pictures of the postcards you create before sending them off. These photos will serve as a digital archive of your artwork and messages, allowing you to revisit and share them with others in the future.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your postcards from Burning Man are delivered with care and carry the essence of the event to recipients around the world. Let your postcards be a reflection of the transformative experience you had on the playa and a source of inspiration for others to embark on their own Burning Man journey.


Postcards as Souvenirs from Burning Man

Postcards from Burning Man serve as more than just a means of communication – they also make exquisite souvenirs, capturing the essence of the event and preserving memories in a tangible and personal way. These unique and artistic postcards embody the spirit of Burning Man and act as tokens of the transformative experience that participants undergo on the playa.


When you receive a postcard from Burning Man, it becomes a memento, a physical representation of the connection between the sender and recipient. It encapsulates the creativity, freedom, and communal spirit that define the event, allowing those who receive the postcards to share in the experience from afar.


Postcards from Burning Man are not mere snapshots of a moment in time; they are windows into the soul of the Burner who sends them. Each postcard is a piece of art, adorned with vibrant colors, intricate designs, and heartfelt messages. They provide a glimpse into the unique perspective and creative expression of the sender, capturing the magic and energy that permeate the playa.


As souvenirs, postcards from Burning Man hold a special significance. They serve as reminders of the personal growth, connections made, and experiences shared during the event. These postcards become cherished keepsakes that transport participants back to the desert, evoking emotions and memories that can be revisited time and time again.


Whether you collect postcards yourself or receive them from fellow Burners, they create a narrative of your journey through Burning Man. Displaying these postcards in your home or personal space can serve as a visual reminder of the transformative power of the event. Each postcard tells a story, representing a moment of self-expression, connection, or awe-inspiring art.


Postcards from Burning Man can also be shared with others, acting as catalysts for conversations and connections. Displaying them in your workspace or gifting them to friends and family offers an opportunity to share your experience and inspire others with the beauty and creativity of the event.


Furthermore, postcards from Burning Man have the ability to ignite curiosity and intrigue in those who receive them. They provoke questions, spark conversations, and create a sense of wonder about the unique world that exists within the confines of the event. They serve as a gateway for others to explore Burning Man and consider embarking on their own journey to the playa.


Postcards from Burning Man are not just pieces of mail; they are tangible memories, powerful expressions of art, and vessels of connection. They represent the transformative power of self-expression, community, and the boundless creativity that resides within each of us. So whether you send or receive postcards from Burning Man, treasure them as meaningful souvenirs and reminders of the extraordinary experience that is Burning Man.



The tradition of sending and collecting postcards from Burning Man is a beautiful testament to the spirit of the event. These tangible pieces of art and messages serve as bridges between the ephemeral city of the playa and the outside world, connecting participants and inspiring others with the magic of Burning Man.


From the early days of handmade postcards to the diverse and creative designs we see today, the tradition of sending postcards from Burning Man has evolved and grown. It has become a cherished tradition that allows Burners to share their experiences, capture memories, and forge connections with loved ones.


The magic of postcards lies not only in the visual appeal of the artwork but also in the heartfelt messages that accompany them. These postcards hold the power to transport recipients to the vibrant and transformative world of Burning Man, eliciting curiosity, excitement, and a desire to embrace their own creative journeys.


Whether collected as souvenirs, displayed as works of art, or shared with others, postcards from Burning Man embody the principles of self-expression, radical inclusion, and communal effort. They remind us that the experience of Burning Man transcends the boundaries of time and space, and that the connections and memories forged on the playa can be shared and cherished long after the event ends.


So let the tradition of sending and receiving postcards from Burning Man continue to thrive, capturing the beauty, creativity, and transformative power of the event. Let them be tokens of love, souvenirs of personal growth, and sparks of inspiration for others to embark on their own journeys of self-expression and connection.


Next time you find yourself on the playa or receive a postcard from Burning Man, take a moment to appreciate the magic and significance of this tradition. Embrace the creativity, the community, and the profound impact that Burning Man has on the lives of its participants and supporters. And remember, the spirit of Burning Man can be shared with the world, one postcard at a time.