The world is full of cultures and traditions that fascinate us. While some of them make sense to us, others don’t and as much as they seem bizarre, people following them continue to do so with complete faith. One such fascinating ritual is Japan’s Shinto ritual where people dressed in white robes clap and chant before going into an ice water bath.
The new year’s ritual in Japan saw a group of men bathe in ice water on January 14 to purify their souls and wish for good fortune this year. The Daily Mail reported that the believers gathered at the Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo to participate in the annual cold water endurance ceremony. Photographs captured the moment men poured wooden pots full of ice-cold water over their bodies. The photographs show the men dressed in white loincloths and headbands.
The half-naked parishioners warm up before they douse themselves with cold water during a cold-endurance ritual on Saturday. The two-day-long Shinto festival sees the believers praying in front of the shrine before pouring cold water on themselves.
The believers were seen bathing for a total of 6 minutes with ice-cold water. Hundreds took part in the festival and after taking bath, they worshipped and danced fiercely. The ritual is performed in Tokyo’s shrines every year on the second Sunday of January. Men and women of all ages take part in the ritual and bathe in cold water.
The cold winters cause the temperatures in Japan to drop to single digits in January. Bathing in cold water during such weather is extremely difficult and people even complain of immense pains and chilblains in their fingers and toes.
People pray for good fortune and for problems to go away. Last year, a woman prayed for the end of coronavirus and talked about it to India Times.
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