According to Buddhist legend, each layman has 108 kinds of annoyance per year, and each tolling bell can help people dispel a kind of annoyance. One who listens to 108 bell tolls on New Year's Eve will have good luck and happiness in the coming year.
On December 31 each year, thousands of tourists flock to Suzhou's Hanshan Temple for the 108 bell tolls, and to pray for good luck and happiness in the coming year. This year's bell ringing activities are scattered around scenic spots inside and outside Hanshan Temple.
Suzhou's Hanshan Temple is decorated with red lanterns for the up-coming 38th Hanshan Temple Bell Ringing Festival held from Dec 31 to Jan 1, 2017. [Photo/ visitsz.com]
Before 22:00 on Dec 31, most are designated outside the temple.
Fengqiao Scenic Spot has invited famous dragon and lion dance performers to treat visitors at the folk event. A parade of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals will offer tourists the chance to take a photo with their own zodiac animal. The Maple Bridge will present a live light show displaying the profound beauty of Suzhou, as personified in the poem Mooring to the Maple Bridge at Night by Zhang Ji of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).
Kunqu Opera, traditional stringed and woodwind instrument performances and a gymnastics performance from Denmark's national team will treat tourists at the event.
Tourists pray for health and happiness in the new year at Hanshan Temple during the 37th Bell Ringing and Felicity Worshipping Activity. [Photo/ visitsz.com]
The highlighted bell ringing activities inside Hanshan Temple will begin at 22:00, following a praying assemble and incense offering to the Buddha.
Bell tolls will start at 23：42：08", followed by a New Year's wish from Suzhou's mayor to the citizens.
Tourists leave their New Year's wishes on the wall of Suzhou's Hanshan Temple during the 37th Bell Ringing and Felicity Worshipping Activity. [Photo/subaonet.com]
Tourists can ring the bells themselves in order after 0:10 am. Even those unable to come to the temple will still get a chance to participate thanks to an Internet presentation.