Ring in the New Year -- literally

Ring in the New Year -- literally

Jade Buddha Temple lets local residents take their luck in the Year of the Tiger into their own hands
Jade buddha temple
Jade Buddha Temple's main courtyard and Grand Hall. After you line-up for your chance to ring the bell, stop in at Jade Buddha temple's famous (and delicious) vegetarian restaurant.

Founded in 1882 and home to two white jade Buddhas, Shanghai's Jade Buddha Temple (玉佛禅寺) is one of the most well-known (Zen) Buddhist temples in the city.

With a temple bell that goes off twice daily (once in the morning and once at night), a few gongs here or there is no reason to raise an eyebrow. However, on Chinese New Year the temple’s bell is opened to the public as a way of ushering in good luck for the coming in year.

“We normally ring the bell every day -- usually in the morning and again at night,” says Yan Yin to Shanghai’s Time Out magazine. “But we only allow the public to ring the bell twice a year, once at the end of the calendar year and once at the beginning of the Lunar Year.” It is considered incredibly good luck for people to ring the bell on these special occasions.

There are only 108 spots available to ring the Jade Buddha temple bell starting at midnight on February 14, tickets range from RMB 2,000 (for ones closer to midnight, since they’re luckier times) to RMB 800 (for less lucky slots closer to noon when the ringing ends).

If you need to ring in some extra luck this year, be prepared to wait and get there early. If you think you’ve waited in line for tickets to something before, consider this the X Games: extreme queuers only. 

170 Anyuan Lu, near Jiangning Lu 安远路170号, 近江宁路

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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