Where: Okayama, Japan
On the third Saturday of February (possibly the coldest day of the year), thousands of men throng the streets of Okayama in Japan to take part in the Hadaka Matsuri or Naked Festival. These men are almost completely naked (and almost completely mad!), wearing only fundoshi, a narrow loincloth. Before entering the temple, they purify themselves by passing through a trough of frigid water, then pay respects to two sacred statues. Then they begin to crowd into the temple. With cries of “Washoi, washoi!” they work themselves into a frenzy. Despite the bitter cold, steam rises from their bodies and festival staff periodically drench the mob with water from hoses.
For more up to date information about this and other events, follow Clockwork Gallery @ Facebook.