Japanese festival ‘Naked Men’ ends after 1,000 years

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The “Sominsai” festival, which dates back 1,000 years in Japan, has brought to an end due to the ageing population, prompting people all over the world to be saddened by the news, according to the Hindustan Times. The festival was widely considered as one of the strangest festivals in the country.

As part of the Lunar New Year’s celebrations, Kokuseki Temple used to hold its Sominsai festival from the seventh day until the next morning after the arrival of the Lunar New Year.

As hundreds of nude men wrestled over a bundle of wooden talismans for the final time on February 17, a 1,063-year-old Japanese ceremony came to an end as they raised a cloud of perspiration in the process of getting a hold of the bundle.

It is a secluded temple and as such, the festival is held in a tropical forest in northern Japan’s Iwate region near a cedar forest known as the Kokuseki Sanctuary, which is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The chants of “jasso, joyasa”, which means “evil, be gone”, echoed through the cedar forest.

Rural communities have been hard hit by a growing population of older people, which has been a major problem for the country’s ageing population crisis.

As the faithful are getting older, the duties of organizing the ceremony have become a heavy burden for them, as they find it difficult to keep up with the rigors of the ceremony, which draws hundreds of participants and thousands of tourists every year.

The festival was carried out at some temples in Japan, as well as in other parts of Asia, during which men wore loincloths and bathed in freezing water or fought over talismans.

As democracies and social norms change, some festivals are making changes in their rules so they will be able to continue to exist, such as allowing women to participate in rituals that were previously exclusively reserved for men, in order to maintain their existence.

Kokuseki Temple will no longer hold its annual festival in next year, instead relying on prayer ceremonies and other methods to maintain its spiritual practices on a regular basis.

This news is provided by Timenews1.

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