View from the Bell Tower Before Midnight Strikes on New Year’s Eve

Bell towers across five continents will strike the hour before playing “Auld Lang Syne” to signal the start of the New Year.

From coast to coast and from continent to continent, we’re ringing in the New Year not as one nation, but as one planet.”
— Paul Ashe, Director, National Bell Festival

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, November 26, 2022 / — This New Year’s Eve, the annual “Ring around the World” returns with bells resounding in an international moment of unity and celebration. At midnight local time on 31 Dec. 2022, bells are set to toll the hour in New Zealand and Australia, kicking-off a series of free and open-to-everyone carillon performances as clocks strike midnight in successive time zones. From Australia to Asia, Africa to Europe, and across the Americas, bells will ring in the New Year in a global bell ringing event.

To hear the bells ring, head to a participating bell tower on New Year’s Eve and find a comfortable spot outdoors to listen to the bells welcome 2023 at midnight. Pack a picnic, bring a mug of cocoa, or sing along as the bells begin to play. Inclement weather? Dress appropriately for the conditions in your area. There will be no indoor access at any bell tower.

This event is being organized by the Washington, D.C.-based National Bell Festival, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and celebration of bell ringing. For a list of participating bell towers, visit:

What is a carillon?

A carillon is a musical instrument of bells. Typically housed in a purpose-built bell tower or belfry, a carillon consists of at least 23 harmonically-tuned bells. A carillonist, or someone who plays the carillon, then operates an intricate system of internal clappers or external hammers to sound the bells. Much like an organist, a carillonist can create chords, harmonies, and melodies on their instrument – sending elegant tunes wafting across the rooftops.

Why are the bells playing “Auld Lang Syne”?

At the stroke of midnight, bell towers will play one of the most recognizable melodies in the world: “Auld Lang Syne.” A popular tune based on a poem written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, “Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung to bid farewell to the old year on New Year’s Eve. There are many arrangements of the tune. Each carillonist will select his or her favorite for the midnight performance.

About the National Bell Festival:

The National Bell Festival is on a mission to celebrate and restore bells in America. Each year on New Year’s Day, the festival rings in the New Year with free community events across the U.S. and across the world. The organization also works throughout the year to restore historic bells and bell towers to their former thundering glory.

The National Bell Festival’s work supports the United Nations’ Global Goal No. 11 for Sustainable Development: Protecting the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage, and is enabled, in part, by a Google for Nonprofits grant. Learn more about the National Bell Festival and the lineup of events and experiences on New Year’s Day by visiting:

Paul Ashe
National Bell Festival
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Annual ‘Ring around the World’ Set for Midnight on New Year’s Eve

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