H/T: The Atlantic

EVERY YEAR, on the third Saturday of February, in the dead of winter, thousands of Japanese men wearing nothing but loincloth gather at the Sadai-ji Temple for some unusual (almost) naked fun.

Hadaka Matsuri, the 500-year-old festival, consists of about 10,000 inhibited men fighting each other over a pair of lucky sacred sticks thrown by a priest from a window of the temple. It’s well worth the cold and the struggle, because whoever catches the talismans and places them in a wooden box filled with rice is called the lucky man and will be rewarded by one year of happiness.

1

Saidai-ji Temple where Hadaka Matsuri takes place every year.

Photo: Mstyslav Chernov

2

Cold while waiting for the blessed sticks to be thrown in the crowd.

Photo: calltheambulance

3

Crowd of naked men at Hadaka Matsuri.

Photo: Mstyslav Chernov