Sat Dec 31, 10:00 PM - Sat Dec 31, 11:00 PM

Washington National Cathedral

3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Community: McLean


To ring out the old and welcome in the new, the Washington Ringing Society will attempt a quarter peal on the bells of the Cathedral.

Event Details

Lasting approximately an hour, the ringing will begin at 10:00pm and can be heard from the surrounding avenues, gardens, and open spaces. The bells will be half-muffled to symbolize the passing of the old year. To half-muffle a bell, a leather muffle is placed on one side only of the clapper, resulting in a single, loud "open" strike followed by a muffled strike, which has a very sonorous and mournful echo effect.

At midnight, these muffles will be removed and Washington National Cathedral will be the first to ring in the New Year with a half hour of jubilant ringing.

This event forms part of the annual National Bell Festival. Learn more and see the complete line-up of free events and experiences at:

Note: This is an outdoor event. The Cathedral will be closed to inside visitors. Please bundle-up and dress appropriately for the weather. Anywhere on the Cathedral grounds will be a wonderful place to hear the bells, particularly the southern side. We recommend finding a cozy perch in the surrounding garden paths and lawns. Choose a comfortable seat tucked into a stone wall, or spread a blanket for a tasty picnic as the bells ring out above.

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