bell ringingSAN FRANCISCO — Ring in the new year by taking a swing at a giant 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell on Tuesday, Dec. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. in San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Led by Rev. Gengo Akiba, with opening remarks about the Japanese New Year by Yoshie Akiba, this inspiring ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra.

Rev. Akiba will begin the bell ringing, and participants may take turns ringing the museum’s bronze bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds and ill luck of the previous year. The bell will be struck 108 times on New Year’s Eve to usher in 2014 and curb the 108 mortal desires (bonno), which, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind.

First come, first served. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the admission desk. Members can enjoy earlier admission to this event.

Every effort is made to allow all visitors 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.

Jan. 5 is Target First Free Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free general admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day are made possible by Target. Admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed.

For more information, call (415) 581-3500 or visit

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