Special Topics / Spring Festival Series / Ring the Lotus Bell
On New Year’s Eve, the last day of the Chinese lunar calendar, the bell in the monastery will be rung 108 times, to bid farewell to the past and to welcome the future. In Buddhism, all vexations that arise from the six sense organs can be categorized into 108 different types; thus, ringing the bell 108 times represents the elimination of these vexations from the past, present and future.
The last ring at midnight
On the Chinese New Year’s Eve this year, January 27, 2017, the Lotus Bell at Dharma Drum Mountain World Center will be hit 108 times with the last ring at midnight (0:00 sharp). This last ring bids farewell to the past year and welcome a bright and prosperous new year.
The total weight of the bell tower is 25 metric tons. The surface of this bronze bell is engraved with scripture from the “Lotus Sutra”, a series of sacred works entitled “The vast, great and perfect Great Compassion Dharani of the thousand arms, thousand eyes Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva”, as well as the Twin Buddha of Prakhutaratra sitting beside Shakyamuni. In total, there are 70, 152 engraved words. With a height of 4.5 meters, diameter of 2 meters and a maximum thickness of 30 cm, every ring lasts up to 1 minute 45 seconds. According to Master Sheng Yen, every ring signifies propagation of the Lotus Sutra and the Great Compassion Dharani. Hence, every sincere prostration to each bell ring is equivalent to one recitation of the Lotus Sutra and the Great Compassion Dharani, generating immeasurable merits.
Blessing all beings
Dharma Drum Mountain has held a New Year’s Eve bell ceremony every year since 2007. It is hoped that everyone could hear the bell ring and be blessed with a happy and peaceful life. On January 27, 2017, Ven. Guo Dong, Abbot of Dharma Drum Mountain, with leaders from around the nation will ring the Lotus Bell, blessing all beings.
Translator: Elenda Huang
Editor : Leefah Thong