Calm Today. Clamor Tomorrow.

Get ready, world. The annual global celebration of bells and bell ringing kicks off tomorrow! People across five continents are set to ring in the New Year with us, beginning at midnight tonight for our Ring around the World. When the clock strikes 12 o’clock, carillonists in bell towers from Australia to Asia, Africa to Europe, and then here in the Americas will play the beloved tune of “Auld Lang Syne” on bells. 

After some rest, the bell ringers are back! New Year’s Day will feature bells ringing in cities and towns, churches and community centers, national parks and public spaces – anywhere a bronze beauty may be found. The United Kingdom, our 2023 spotlight nation, is expected to lead the good vibrations as change ringers reach for the ropes across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In the United States, nationwide ringing is set for 2:00pm Eastern (9:00am Hawaii) and all are invited to participate. So that we can all ring together, the starting time for bells in your area will depend on your time zone. Ring bells simultaneously for 20 minutes or as long as comfortable for you to pull the rope.

At 2:30pm Eastern, all eyes will turn to Washington, D.C., where a special bell cast in 1863 will be rolled onto the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. After a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, the bell will be tolled 160 times to commemorate 160 years since the 16th president signed that momentous document.

And don’t forget the handbells! Concerts from coast to coast are expected as ringers showcase their art for the community. No matter where you are on New Year’s Day, you’re sure to hear the pealing. Throw open a window, head to your local bell tower, seek out a recital, and listen as the bells herald the start of the New Year. We’ll see you there!

Don’t forget to share your experience by tagging your posts with #BellFest. We can’t wait to make it ring with you. Happy New Year!

Cover image: Youth handbell choir performs a melody on bells.