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38th Annual Japanese New Year's Bell-Ringing Ceremony Event (Purifying Rings of a 2,100 Pound, 16th-Century Japanese Temple Bell)NEW

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38th Annual Japanese New Year's Bell-Ringing Ceremony Event (Purifying Rings of a 2,100 Pound, 16th-Century Japanese Temple Bell) |
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Date: Sunday, 31 December, 2023       Time: 11:30 am
Map of Asian Art Museum (Japanese Art) One of the Largest & Comprehensive Museums Dedicated Exclusively to Asian Art in the World , 200 Larkin Street

Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell. Led by Reverend Gengo Akiba, this inspiring ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Reverend Akiba will begin the bell-ringing, and then it’s your chance to ring the bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds or ill luck from the previous year. The bell will be struck 108 times to usher in the New Year and curb the 108 mortal desires (bonno) that, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind. While you wait your turn, fold paper cranes for luck and prosperity in the new year.

We encourage visitors to purchase general museum admission tickets before coming to the museum on December 31. An admission ticket guarantees entry to the museum, but visitors interested in joining the Bell Ringing Ceremony must pick up separate tickets to ring the bell at the main entrance to Samsung Hall once on-site.  This event is first come, first served. To ensure you have a chance to ring the bell, we recommend that you arrive at Samsung Hall no later than 12 pm

Members - enjoy early admission to this event.

Event Date
December 31, 2023

Event Time
12:30 pm

Buy Tickets Here

Program Schedule
10:00 am: Doors open
10:30 am - 12:00 pm: Members-only Bell-Ringing  
12:00 pm: Haptic Tour for Blind and Visually Impaired Community (preregistration required)
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Public Bell-Ringing 

Members can attend an earlier Bell-Ringing Ceremony at 10:30 AM before the public ceremony begins. Learn more about member benefits.

About This Ancient Tradition
In Japan, the tradition of ringing a bell 108 times holds deep cultural and spiritual significance, particularly during the New Year's celebrations. This ritual is known as "Joya no Kane." The number 108 is considered sacred in various Eastern religions, including Buddhism. It is believed to represent the number of worldly desires or sins that one must overcome to achieve enlightenment. The ringing of the bell symbolizes the purification of these desires and the start of a fresh, pure beginning in the new year. Each toll is thought to cleanse the devotee of a specific type of desire, such as greed, hatred, or ignorance. People gather at Buddhist temples across Japan to participate in this ritual, seeking spiritual renewal and a sense of inner peace as they welcome the coming year. The resonance of the bell's vibrations is believed to reach the celestial realms, creating a harmonious transition into the new year and fostering spiritual well-being within the community.

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Annual Japanese New Year's Bell-Ringing Ceremony (Swing at a 2,100-Pound, 16th-century Japanese Temple Bell)

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Sunday, 31 December, 2023

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