Bell-Ringing Ceremony at Asian Art Museum

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SAN FRANCISCO — The 34th annual Japanese New Year Bell-Ringing Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. in San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Members will be admitted at 9:30 a.m. The event opens to the public at 11:30 a.m. Buddhist art gallery tour starts at 1 p.m.

Ring in 2020 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.

The Tactile Tour of the Japanese temple bell is full. Although additional reservations for this program are not being taken, you are welcome to join the bell-ringing ceremony.

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.

Every effort is made to allow everyone an opportunity to participate in this ceremony. However, to ensure you have a chance to ring the bell, it is recommended that you arrive at Samsung Hall no later than 12 p.m.

For more information, call (415) 581-3500 or visit www.asianart.org.

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