Bell ringing set for Dec. 31

Mantokuji Soto Zen Mission of Paia is welcoming the public to ring its iconic bronze bell 108 times Dec. 31 in celebration of the new year.

The ringing of the bell, also known as Joya no Kane, begins at 10:45 p.m. and is followed by a New Year’s blessing service at 11:30 p.m. at the Buddhist temple located across from Paia Community Center.

The bell ringing is meant to dispel the negative karma of the past year and welcome good fortune and positive energy for the new year, according to a news release from the mission. Buddhists believe 108 is the number of passions and desires entrapping us in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation.

The 108 bell chimes symbolize the purification from the 108 delusions and sufferings accumulated in the past year, the mission said.

Mantokuji Paia’s bronze bell was constructed by Saijiro Takahashi and delivered by the Japanese Training Fleet in 1912. It is likely the oldest bell of its kind on the island, the mission said.

For more information on the event, call 579-8051.