Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Japan's Naked Festival

Bedlam View

Japan, here we come. Okay, so we have a few fiestas over here in Spain. We’ve come to expect it. Maybe it’s the weather; maybe it’s the Latin temperament, whatever, the people here seem to enjoy it.

They put a lot of time and effort into the events. I’m not fussed about the racket that goes on until 6am – that’s only a modern thing for teenagers, that isn’t tradition – in fact, I must say, the noise pisses me off.

But Spain isn’t the only place to hold events …. Japan humbly enjoys the Naked Festival, which takes place in the middle of winter.

Japan's Naked Enjoyment?

On the third Saturday of February, in the middle of winter, hoardes of men dressed only in minimal clothing assemble on the streets around Saidai-ji Temple in Japan for the Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Man Festival

Perhaps as a test of determination, or perhaps because they're just crackers, men dressed only in loincloths assemble in front of a temple of Saidaji-Naka at midnight, ready to contend for a “Year of happiness.”

This accolade can be achieved in two ways: either by touching the single naked man concealed in the crowd of shivering bodies, or catching a baton thrown by a monk from the village temple and placing it in a box of rice. The challengers apparently become quite belligerent, perhaps not least because of the terrible cold.

Now a fiesta in warm weather I can understand – the things they get up to in Japan beggars belief….

End of post on Bedlam - 'Japan's Naked Festival'

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