Ganjitsu / Japanese New Year

Ganjitsu is the auspicious day of Shogatsu, the first month of the Japanese year. On this day, many people in Japan strive to be up in time to greet the rising sun and the fresh New Year. The celebrations last for three days (1-3 January) and during this period, people pray for good health and fortune. On the eve of Ganjitsu, the joya no kane (end of the year) bell is sounded 108 times in Buddhist temples to dispel the evils of the previous year. Each toll is timed so that the last is struck at midnight.