In a centuries-old ritual to gain good luck, about 50 almost completely naked men and boys splashed cold water on themselves on a freezing winter night at a temple near Tokyo.
The ritual dates back more than 300 years and is held every year on the eve of Coming-of-Age Day in the city of Sosa in Chiba Prefecture.
Stripped down to loincloths, the men gathered in front of the temple on Sunday night.
Shouting out “eisa, oisa,” they jostled each other to warm up before they repeatedly poured water from a pool onto themselves.
They then ran to a shrine about 500 meters away to pray for perfect health and a good harvest.
They then returned to the temple hand-in-hand while shouting “hee, hee, gan, gan,” and splashed more cold water over their bodies as the water gave off steam.
A man who took part in the event with his 6-year-old son said he was thrilled to see his son make it through, despite shivering. He said he prayed for a good year for his family.
Source and image: NHK