Best wishes for a sandy New Year!

2020 written in sand

Best wishes for a sandy New Year!

The New Year is the perfect opportunity to celebrate life, relations and new beginnings.  Personally I hope for a year full of sand. Sand can even be a part of New Years celebrations. 

Just as the bells start ringing and fireworks light up the sky, the world’s largest hourglass is tipped over in Oda, Japan. One ton of sand grains will tickle through a less than a millimetre wide opening during the full 2020 until all the sand has passed and it’s time to invert its position. I need to correct myself, it’s not an hourglass but a yearglass. In a public park in Budapest the Timewheel, a computerised kind of hourglass, with sand grains set in a granite block is similarly turned at the change from one year to another. 

The world’s easternmost point on land and the first to greet 2020 will be coral sand grains at Kiribati’s Caroline Island. As the last rays of light of 2019 leave the sandy shores of the US atolls Howland and Baker Islands other parts of our globe will be well into the new decade. Uninhabited sandy islands are both the first and the last to celebrate New Years.  

A sand pagoda on a Sri Lankan Beach, normally build for the traditional New Year in April.

The perhaps most sandy New Years tradition is not seen now but in April, during the astrological New Year celebration Songkran. Thousands of people build sand pagodas, temples, along beaches, river shores and at temple grounds. It’s done to honor “the infinite Buddhas in the infinite universe”. You can see it in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and parts of India and Vietnam.

A new year, and this time a new decade, can have a “fresh start effect”, bringing in motivation and tricking ourselves to do better. If you’re close to a beach or a sandy place you can do as many and literally draw a line in the sand for New Years. You can decide to leave unwanted stuff, the downturns we all hit, on one side before crossing over it to the new year and the new improved you. But hey, micro-steps and giant leaps start everywhere and all the time, not only on the first day of the year/week/decade. Give time your own special meaning, new beginnings can start any day and any time of the day. It just might be that your next great step starts Once Upon a Wednesday!

I wish you all the best for the New Year and for the New Decade!

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