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Updated: December 4, 2019
Many people in Japan visit a shrine or temple on the night of December 31. Amidst the sound of a bell ringing exactly 108 times, people welcome the New Year by offering up their prayers. This practice is called hatsumode. Another common pattern is to celebrate New Year's Eve at home, and perform the hatsumode on January 1, 2 or 3. People often complete the day by hitting the shops for January sales, or heading to another special event. It's an extremely memorable time of year.
Notably, Meiji-jingu Shrine, which was built in celebration of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, draws more than 3 million people between New Year's Eve and January 3. In 2020, the shrine will celebrate its 100th anniversary!
Be a part of the tradition and pray for health and good luck in the year ahead.
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