For the past 500 years, residents of Okayama, Japan, have celebrated New Year’s by assembling more than 10,000 loincloth-clad men who try their luck at catching talismans thrown into the crowd. 

Nude Year, Nude Me

During the event, the sea of semi-nude men takes the mosh pit concept to the next level as they lunge, twist, and wrestle to grab hold of two little sticks — symbols of good fortune. The sticks are known formally as talismans and are thrown into the crowd by priests.


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Prior to the event taking place, the participating men prepare a slip of paper containing their name, blood type and emergency contact number. This gets tucked into their loincloth, just in case!

Out with the Old, In with the Nude

Besides auspicious tidings, participating in the festival comes with the possibility of a fruitful harvest. Known locally as the Saidaiji Eyo Festival, it remains the most famous of the Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Men Festivals) in Japan.

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The event is designed to spark an interest in younger generations and, prior to the rush for talismans, participants spend time purifying themselves with cold water and running around the temple grounds before the festivities take place.