ALERTDuring lobby construction, visitors should use the far right-hand doors to enter the museum and check in at the new information desk in Bowes South Court. Learn more.

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  • 34th Annual Japanese New Year Bell-Ringing Ceremony

    Workshops & Activities, For Families

    Dec 31

    9:30 AM—1 PM

    9:30 AM members only 
    11:30 AM open to the public
    1:00 PM Buddhist art gallery tour

    Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell. Led by Rev. Gengo Akiba, this inspiring ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Rev. 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. 
    First come, first served. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the main entrance to Samsung Hall. Members enjoy early admission to this event. 
    For Our Blind and Vision-impaired Community Members

    We invite our blind and vision-impaired community members to engage in a tactile experience as part of this annual celebration. Join us for a touch tour of the temple bell and receive priority seating for the ceremony. A descriptive tactile docent and storytelling tour of the newly renovated Japanese galleries follows. Pre-registration required.

    11–11:30 AM Touch tour of the temple bell for blind and vision-impaired visitors (preregistration required) 
    12:15–1 PM Descriptive and tactile tour for blind and vision-impaired visitors (preregistration required) 
    Email to reserve a spot.    
    The Asian Art Museum is committed to making its events accessible to all. This event is wheelchair accessible and assistive listening devices (ALDs) will be provided. ASL interpretation available upon request; please email two weeks prior to the event to request an interpreter. 

    We make every effort to allow everyone an opportunity to participate in this ceremony. However, to ensure you have a chance to ring the bell, we recommend that you arrive at Samsung Hall no later than 12 p.m. 

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