New Year's Eve (Joya E)

“On this last night, temples with the large bell called the Bonsho will ring the bell 108 times.  This is called the “Joya no Kane” or “bell of the last night.”  It is the symbolic ringing away of the 108 passions which inflict man and bind him to the world of delusion.  It is a reminder of the need to free ourselves from the entanglements of our self-centeredness as we face the new year.  We do not know whether our lives will be fortunate or unfortunate, but in the Nembutsu we can know that whichever it is, it will be all right.”

-Masao Kodani and Russell Hamada from Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha (1984)

In a Nut Shell...

Date: 31 December (Shin Buddhists have adopted the western calendar)

Translation:  Joya E: Last-night-gathering.

Description:  New Year’s Eve service and celebration. 

What does the temple do to celebrate? Gather together at the temple to ring the Bonsho and enjoy each other’s company.

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