New Year's Eve Ceremony - 108

In the culture of Japan instead of the expected fireworks, what we listen to are the 108 from the ritual of the Buddhist Temple "Joya no Kane".

New Year's Eve Ceremony - 108 Chimes 1

Every year on December 31, the long awaited Japanese countdown is the popular 108 of the bell, for the Japanese people, this ritual celebrates the arrival of the New Year.

In the Temple of Japan is held the traditional ceremony of 108 Badaladas do Bell. A ritual of thanksgiving, meditation and the ringing of the Great Bell Bonshô 108 times.

  • The 108s

According to Buddhist beliefs, the popular 108 represent the 108 sins or worldly desires of man, and the ringing of the bell serves to ward off those desires, so that man may enter purified in the new year.

They refer to the six senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch and consciousness), multiplied by three reactions (positive, negative or indifferent), giving a total of 18 wishes. Each of these desires may be connected or separated from pleasure, thus multiplying by 2, giving a total of 36 desires.

Each of these desires may manifest itself in the past, present or future, so 36 is multiplied by 3, resulting in 108. This number is very common in Indian religious beliefs, so when Buddhism arrived in Japan (about 400 AC), this number also became part of various Buddhist traditions.

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