• The men spend hours running in circles in the temple playgrounds and purify themselves from all evil spirits with freezing cold water. After the purification, the men gather themselves at the main temple.

Japan has a long list of festivals celebrated each year. One that looks weird to foreigners is the “Hadaka Matsuri” festival which is mostly celebrated by the men in the country. This is a wild and raucous festival held every third Saturday of every year in February at a sacred temple known as the Saidaiji Kannonin Temple meters away from Okayama city.

The name of the festival doesn’t necessarily reflect on their mode of dressing. Men who take part in this wild festival cover their waist to the knee with a loincloth called ” fundoshi ” and white socks known as “tabi”. The festival is aimed at blessings of harvest, wealth, long life, fertility, etc.

The men spend hours running in circles in the temple playgrounds and purify themselves from all evil spirits with freezing cold water. After the purification, the men gather themselves at the main temple.

At 10 p.m, lights a turned off, signifying the throwing of 100 bundles of twigs and two lucky 20-centimeter-long shingi sticks into the crowd from a window four meters above by a priest. It is believed that any of the 10,000 men who get a hold of one of the bundles and/or the two sticks are guaranteed a year of good fortune.

 

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