Beliefs and Traditions Travel Uncategorized

What is Hadaka Matsuri?

An interesting festival that takes place in Japan known as Hadaka Matsuri is a festival wherein Japanese male wear minimum clothing, usually only a white loincloth. This loincloth is known as fundoshi. Males wearing more clothing than just a fundoshi or a small happi cloth are considered to be behaving vulgar.

Hadaka Matsuri

What is more interesting is that fact that this Shinto festival in February is scheduled to take place on the year’s coldest day. In order to keep their bodies warm they hop and run in their fundoshi chanting ‘Washoi’. They also drink as much as they can.

According to Shintoism, the Naked Man who finally enters the temple is believed to take away all the bad luck and evil from the people who touch. This is the reason why all other Japanese men wearing fundoshi are desperate to touch him. As a result of fighting and touching of 9000 people, the Naked Man is chased, pushed, bruised, and is injured seriously before he could reach to pay his respects to the GOD in the shrine.

What is Hadaka Matsuri

The bodyguards also take their turn to splash chilled water on the Naked Man, after the men in fudoshi touch him. After this ritual, when the Naked Man wears cloths, he is then taken out of the town to eradicate all the evil and bad luck from the town.

The festival was initially introduced to remove the plague that had once spread in Nagoya. Over years, people started performing ritual to get rid of the evil and bad luck. The person who would become the lucky symbol is chosen through Shinotoko. He is completely naked, without even a fundoshi or a loincloth, and is completely shaved.

The festival of Hadaka Matsuri that is celebrated in Japan witnesses participation from thousands of people, making it all the more difficult for the Naked Man. However, the enthusiasm level is high, the energy level has to be high, and the temperature is usually low.

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