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New Year’s Eve

We call the last day of the year “Omisoka.” “Misoka” means the last day of the month. Traditionally, people eat buckwheat noodles on “Omisoka.” They call it “year-crossing buckwheat noodle,” since they eat it as they enter the new year. Late at night, just around midnight, temples ring their bell 108 times. This comes from Buddhist teaching that human beings suffer from 108 worldly desires. Each time they ring the bell, the desire would disappear one by one. This is “Joya no Kane,” the watch-night bell ceremony.