Akemashiteomedetōgozaimasu, which in Japanese means Happy New Year. Aren’t we all glad that 2020 is over? We definitely all are, and of course we do not expect 2021 to be free of challenges, the pandemic will not end because of a mere change in the calendar, nonetheless it is our nature to be optimists that the coming year will bring us many pleasant surprises, discoveries and learnings, at least this is our wish to all of you.
If you are wondering why the Japanese introduction is because we believe this ancient and wonderful culture can inspire us to celebrate a bit differently this time, to cast away the looming shadows that 2020 brought us and walk forward into the future.
Gantan-Sai falls on 1st of January, and is the Shinto new year’s day, a festivity that lasts for seven days used by people to visit shrines to cleanse from the ordeals of the previous year, renew the alliance within ourselves and renewal of the heart, and gain energy for health and prosperity. The seven days of celebration are also used to visit the homes of dear ones and deliver the best wishes for the year to come while wearing the best clothes and appear as best looking as possible.
So regardless if locked-down in quarantine or not, what about trying to start our New Year in a Shinto way? It is the 1st of January, start by taking a long bath or shower and actually concentrating, feeling and focusing on its beautiful cleansing effect all over you, body and soul (without using too much water please). Then wear the very best clothes you have and make yourself even better looking than you usually are. Make yourself a small shrine at home, can really be anything, the importance is the meaning and sacredness you attribute to it and write down all the ordeals you have encountered and overcome in 2020 and hang them on your shrine. Contemplate on how good you have overcome all of that. Now that this is behind you, make up a ritual, can even be sipping a cup of tea, as long as when you do it envision all the feelings you want your heart to feel, the love, joy, compassion that you want to spring from your heart, sense the energy of those feelings and once you filled up your heart, wish yourself energy, health and prosperity and while you do that, feel for real how much your wish is true and coming from your heart. The last tip is to get in touch with at least five people and make each a true and very personal good wish for 2021 specifically directed towards this person with all your capacity to care for someone really important to you. And that’s it!
Rescogita, from our whole heart wish you health, joy and prosperity for the coming year, keep up the good work and be content. Happy 2021