National Bell Festival in the News!

The final reverberations from the 2024 National Bell Festival have dissolved and the skies have settled into a comfortable silence – though the excitement here on the ground endures. With the unveiling of the 1798 hanshō at the U.S. National Arboretum, the National Bell Festival continues in our mission to preserve campanological heritage and champion the significance of bells in our communities. Others are taking notice. Here are just a few of the organizations that covered our recent events.



How a nonprofit plans to preserve the sound of an ancient Japanese bell in D.C.

Buildings and art aren’t the only things that get preserved at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. For one group, it’s all about sound. For the National Bell Festival, the sound the nonprofit wants to keep very much alive is that of the bell, including an 18th-century Japanese temple bell recently brought to the District. Continue reading…



Centuries-old Japanese temple bell installed at National Arboretum on New Year's Day

A centuries-old Japanese temple bell was installed in the U.S. National Arboretum on New Year's Day, setting a special event in the nation’s capital. The 226-year-old Japanese temple echoed softly across the central courtyard at the gallery for the first time on Monday. Continue reading…


The Washington Post

The 13 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week

The National Bell Festival marks the new year by having bells ring out across the country and around the world. There is a very special addition this year: A Japanese temple bell, cast in 1798, is being added to the courtyard of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum, as a gift of the festival. Continue reading…


The List Are You On It

Foodie and the Beast

Bells are ringing thanks to Paul Ashe. He’s with the North American Carillon School and director of the National Bell Festival – they truly ring in the New Year. Continue reading…


National Bonsai Foundation

Ringing in the New Year, literally

On New Year’s Day, the National Bonsai Foundation joined more than 150 visitors at the U.S. National Arboretum to hear the resonant tolls of a sacred Japanese temple bell. The bell, a gift from the National Bell Festival, was cast in 1798 at a monastery outside present-day Tokyo – which makes it 226 years old! Continue reading…


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Cover image: Paul Ashe, director of the National Bell Festival, speaks to members of the media following the dedication ceremony of the 1798 hanshō at the U.S. National Arboretum during the 2024 National Bell Festival on Jan. 1, 2024.