Outside the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on Sunday, visitors queued up to get in line to ring a 16th century bell.
The Japanese temple bell weighs 2,100 pounds, and it is brought out only once a year for this end-of-the-year ceremony. Ringing the bell signifies leaving behind bad experiences or misfortune from the past year. It's rung 108 times to symbolize the 108 defilements of Buddhism, like greed and anger. According to Buddhist belief, these desires torment mankind.
The bell is normally rung on New Year's Eve, but since the Asian Art Museum isn't open on Mondays, it held the event on Sunday morning.
Participants took turns ringing the bell to leave behind unfortunate experiences and bad luck from the previous year.
"So then you can start the new year purified, refreshed, with good intentions and spreading peace and compassion throughout the land," said Deborah Clearwaters, director of education and interpretation at the museum.