The gong started at 9 am GMT on Saturday and will continue every hour through the holiday period until 1 pm on New Year's Day.
However, in early 2018, the Great Clock will be dismantled piece by piece, with each small piece examined and restored.
In August, Big Ben was taken out of action due to repair work at the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the clock; the restoration process is expected to last for four years. Since August 21, Big Ben has sounded only on November 11, Remembrance Sunday.
The restoration of one of the most iconic symbols of the UK has sparked heated debates. Even Prime Minister Theresa May has said that "it is wrong for Big Ben to be silent for four years." Lately, it was decided that Big Ben would continue to chime for "important national events."
Big Ben is, in fact, the name of the bell inside the tower, and not the building or the clock (simply known as the Great Clock) itself. The construction of the 96 meter-tall clock tower was completed in 1858 by English architect Augustus Pugin. The UNESCO-listed structure is widely considered a monument to England's Victorian heritage. In 2012, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the clock tower was renamed in her honor; until then it had been called St. Stephen's Tower.