New Year’s Eve is not a real New Year’s Eve without some specific ingredients, in my opinion. Otherwise the new year can not start! I grew up in the Austrian Alps and from an early age I was used to celebrating wearing elegant clothes, at midnight where we would dance a waltz and then leave the house to see the fireworks in the valley. My imprinting was: elegant clothes (uncomfortable), snow (that is cold, very cold) and fireworks. So a good year started!

Shortly after knowing about Damanhur, I discovered that on the last day of the year there was a special party… the  Midnight Action obviously I could not miss this experience!
I went immediately to the Welcome Centre and signed up. Strangely, they advised me to bring me boots and work clothes. Then they asked me something equally strange, like if I liked to paint or if I loved to sing … I arrived on December 30th equipped with everything, which means following my imprinting, I wore elegant clothes, but sportive ones. In front of the Welcome Office it felt in the air that something special was about to happen. More and more people arrived and the staff worked hard so that each of us had our own badge. I also noticed that the badges were different colours.

At one point the minibuses arrived and began to fill up with as many people as possible. On the road full of curves leading to the Temples of Humankind we did not have to stop once to pass other cars coming in the opposite direction, on the contrary, sometimes we could see people wearing thermal clothing, like ski suits, that seemed to magically free the roads allowing us to go smoothly. Finally we arrived at the Temples of Humankind: the buses left us in the parking lot and there I understood why the “firemen” scattered on the street were dressed so well … it was freezing cold! Then, after a few moments of the typical Italian chaos, we left our jackets in a tent set up outside. When I came out of the tent, I passed by a mirror, I could only laugh! I was all dishevelled but of course wearing a pearl necklace, with boots on my feet to go into the mountains!

I managed to miraculously find my guide who had a badge with the same colour as mine and together with the others in my group we were brought into this hive full of people. There were artists, groups distinguished by badges and people in work clothes (obviously these were the Damanhurians, all smiling and happy). I was instructed about what I had to do: paint! Inside of me I thought: “Wow what courage these Damanhurians have, they will let me paint in their beautiful temples that are so well cared for!

But do they know that apart from dogs I cannot paint anything else!?! “Thank goodness that everything was well prepared, there were already some pre-drawn leaves with the spaces still to colour with numbers that corresponded to the jars of the colours I now had in my hands. Thank goodness, we were saved! The organizers obviously had the right idea of how to put my limited capacities to good use, so I got focused and started to paint the leaves. I felt like Leonardo DaVinci and even today, many years after that experience, when I walk down that hall in the Temples and see the painted leaves, I smile and feel proud of myself.

I was not the only one, it seemed that people were painting everywhere…. and at one point all the “action” ended and everyone flowed into the Hall of the Earth. I did not know that the hall could accommodate so many people, but everyone was there, there were those who had clothes stained in different colours, others were dusty from work, still others without any trace of dirt (they had to be the ones who were singing and not painting ;-).

This mix of people of different races and ages, including the Damanhurians, was a real treasure to behold! All present there to celebrate the Rite of Cornucopia and propitiate the new year. At that moment I understood that things are meaningless only because they are repeated and one must understand why one does something.

The sweet Ritual of Cornucopia fascinated me, the idea that the last hour of the year is auspicious to the year that begins and welcomes us, has touched me deeply.

Everyone in the room was an active participant in the rite. Since childhood I have witnessed the beauty of the whole of different cultures, but there, in the Temples of Humankind, there was one more value, people were not only “together” but they were really united, fused in a common emotion.
So I realized that the thing that makes the beginning of a new year truly meaningful is to be with people who share the same ideal, the same dream.

That night maybe I was bundled up in heavy clothes, thankfully because it was extremely cold, but when we left the Temples of Humankind we also saw the fireworks in the valley! It was a wonderful New Year that had begun!
Today I am among the people who organize this event so I would like to invite you to come here to celebrate a New Years Eve that will leave a new imprint within you!