Temple bell rings 108 times on December 31st, “Joya-no-kane” event is held at temples all over Japan. This traditional ceremony has existed in Japan since ancient times.
The bell is totall rung 108 times in about one minute intervals, 107 times on the eve of the new year, and once more when a date is changed to New Year’s Day.
The number 108 represents the number of the worldly desires that annoy and pain the human heart. And it is a total of 108 of these worldly desires. It is said that these worldly desires vanish one after another upon hearing bells, then we will be purified for the new year.
Some temples let you ring the bell for donation, and It is good to start a refreshing new year with the sound of low ringing bells. If you’d like to ring the bell yourself, please visit ahead of time.
This ceremony is takes place at many buddhist temples in many places across the country.
The most famous one is held at Chion-in Temple in Kyoto.
At Chion-in Temple, 17 monks work together to ring a massive, three-meter tall, about 70 tons great temple bell. Visitors come to have a look at the powerful bell ringers,
Todai-ji Temple in Nara and Houkou-ji Temple in Kyoto also have one of Japan’s three great temple bells.
Shitenno-ji Temple in Osaka let visitors ring the bell at the three bell towers.