When midnight strikes, the year has a brand new number, and the month, day, hour and second are rolled back to 1.
The moment is also special because it is shared by so many - everyone using the Gregorian calendar in the same time zone, and within 24 hours, the whole world.
A fresh page is turned, a new book opened at the beginning, a brand new diary started, an empty canvas is placed on the easel.
In the innocent purity of the moment, we stand like little children on our doorsteps, about to embark on our first journey to school. When nothing is yet started, everything is possible.
But that isn't the whole story, is it? In fact, everything is already started, and what we perceive as the present moment, as distinct from the past and the future, is just a mental construct, like the illusion that a candle flame is a fixed "thing".
Heat melts the wax, capillary action draws it up the wick, heat vapourizes and ignites it, creating new flame, which in turn melts more wax.
Meanwhile, the original flame has become hot air and cooler air has rushed in to become new flame. Because the cycle is seamless, the flame seems unchanging. So does the present moment.
But as we say the word "now", by the time we have pronounced the letter 'n' and moved on to the letter 'o', the 'n' is in the past and the 'w' is still in the future. As the flame is continually being re-created, so is this moment. So are we.
So if right now everything is new, beginning at 1, and everyone is sharing it, isn't now a good time to celebrate and gather, and to resolve to change for the better?
A second chance