7. Thousands of naked and semi-naked men take part in the Hadaka Matsuri festival.
© AFP / East News
The Hadaka Matsuri is an annual festival with over 9,000 male participants. Men wear a minimum of clothing: just a traditional Japanese loincloth, the fundoshi. They can also wear a kimono or be completely naked in some cases.
The festival has deep religious roots. It’s believed that men’s nudity absorbs evil forces and misfortune. After swimming in ice-cold water men try to catch charms made of willow branches as a Shinto priest throws them into the crowd. It is believed that they bring luck. The festival rarely goes by without broken noses or bruised body parts.