Others

Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony (보신각타종행사)

  • Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony (보신각타종행사)
  • Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony (보신각타종행사)
  • Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony (보신각타종행사)

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Period
12.26.2016 ~ 01.01.2017
Address
54, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 종로 54 (관철동)
Location
Area around Bosingak Belfry in Jong-ro, Jongno-gu.
Telephone
• 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
• For more info: +82-120,
+82-2-2148-4169
Sponsors / Management
Culture, Design & Tourism Headquarters of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (History & Cultural Heritage Division) /
Introduction
The Culture, Design & Tourism Headquarters of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (History & Cultural Heritage Division) has been holding the “Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony” since November 21, 2006. The program takes place at noon daily (except Tuesdays) and gives locals and international visitors the experience of ringing the bell 12 times. The program is run regularly and foreigners can also participate in the special program without the need to register. Foreign visitors can come before 11:40 a.m. and apply on-site at Bosingak Belfry, where participants will be able to experience a bit of Korean culture through the ceremony.

[Origin of Bosingak Bell Ringing] Courtesy of the Seoul Metropolitan Government
The Bosingak Bell was rung to signal the opening and closing of the four Main Gates (Sungnyemun, Heunginjimun, Sukjeongmun, and Donuimun) and the four Small Gates (Hyehwamun, Sodeokmun, Gwanghuimun, and Changuimun) in the capital city since the fifth year of King Taejo (1396) during the early Joseon Dynasty. Bell ringing at dawn was called “Paru” and bell ringing in the evening was called “Injeong.”

* The bell was named Bosingak Bell in 1895 during the 32nd year of King Gojong. The belfry was originally called Jongnu (bell pavilion). 

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Paru – ringing the bell 33 times (dawn)
- Ogyeong Samjeom: The bell was rung 33 times at around 4 a.m. to signal the end of the night curfew and the start of the new day. The eight gates to the capital will be opened during this time.
- The practice of ringing the bell 33 times can be traced to Buddhism; the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy manifests herself in 33 different forms in order to save mankind.

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Injeong – ringing the bell 28 times (evening)
- The bell was rung 28 times at around 10 p.m. to signal the end of the day, the closing of the gates and the start of the curfew.
- In ancient times, people divided the universe into the four gung’s of East, West, South, and North. Each gung was further divided into seven, therefore forming 28 gu’s (28 su’s) of constellations. This resulted in the tradition of ringing the bell 28 times.

※ Injeong refers to reporting to the 28 su’s of the sun, the moon, and the stars of the universe, while paru reported to the 33 “skies” led by Jeseokcheon (shamanic deity) to seek blessings for national prosperity and the welfare of the people, all of which are related to Buddhism.

※ Bell ringing on the eve of New Year’s Day is meant to symbolize the end a year, and as a way wish for blessings, good health and the happiness of the citizens for the brand new year.
Programs
Guard-changing ceremonies, picture-taking, guided tour, bell-ringing experience, etc.
Performance Times
11:00-12:20
- Closed Mondays, March 1, August 15, during bell-ringing ceremonies and other official events
- Closed during extreme hot and cold seasons
Admission/Participation Fees
Free
Duration of Performance
Approx. 30 min.
Additional Events
After the bell-ringing ceremony at 12 p.m., the guards march back to Deoksugung Palace.
The event is subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Program Details
A special program called ‘Showing Love for Cultural Assets’ is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the every month. The program is available only to student volunteers. It involves cleaning the area around Bosingak Belfry and participating in a history lesson regarding Bosingak Bell and the bell-ringing program.
How to Particpate
Regular program:
- Bosingak Bell-Ringing Experience: 11:00-12:20
- Hands-on experience program for foreigners offered on Tuesdays.
- Not available on Mondays, Independence Movement Day (March 1), Liberation Day (August 15),
  New Year’s Eve for bell-ringing ceremony, extreme heat season (August 4 – 6, 2015) and cold spell season.

*Foreign visitors may participate in the program on Tuesdays (onsite registration).
*Inquiries : Dasan Call Center +82-120 / Bosingak Bell Administration Office +82-2-2148-4169
Age Limit
Open to visitors of all ages.
Transportation
[Subway]
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 4.
The belfry is located right outside of the exit.
Homepage
http://culture.seoul.go.kr
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish)