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SF’s Asian Art Museum Rings in 2014 with Annual Bell Ringing Ceremony

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Residents and visitors in San Francisco (as well as the rest of the Bay Area), it’s that time again.

The city’s Asian Art Museum will be hosting their annual Bell Ringing Ceremony. This is where visitors can come, and help ring in 2014 by taking a swing at a giant 2,100-pound, 16th century Japanese temple bell. The event is led by Rev. Gengo Akiba, and feature opening remarks on the Japanese New Year by Yoshie Akiba, as well as includes a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra.

As with every year, the bell ringing is a way to begin the New Year anew, by leaving the unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds and ill luck of the previous year. The bell is struck 108 times during New Year’s Eve, ushering in the New Year and curbing the 108 mortal desires (or what is considered to be the human sins in Buddhist belief) that is said to torment human life.

San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum’s bell ringing ceremony, is free with museum admission. Tickets to ring the bell can be picked up at the admission desk, and it comes at a first come, first served basis, so it is recommended to arrive at the museum’s Samsung Hall no later than noon.

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