On December 31 at midnight, the New Year is welcomed in Japan with 108 bell chimes, during the Joya no Kane ( 除夜の鐘 ) ritual taking place at the Buddhist Temples.
Why 108 bell chimes?
108 is a sacred number in many religions and there are a lot of meanings and coincidences regarding the number 108.
According to Buddhist beliefs, 108 is the number of passions and desires entrapping us in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation. So, the 108 bell chimes symbolizes the purification from 108 delusions and sufferings accumulated in the past year…
While this sounds quite gloomy, the Japanese New Year bell ringing ritual is actually a very enjoyable experience. This year I will participate… I can’t wait to tell you how it goes!
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: