Freezing Purification Ceremony
Just watched this on the news during dinner, whereby it was reported some Japanese folks gathered together today at Kanda Myojin shrine for a freezing purification ceremony.
The photo above was taken from Mainichi Japan:
Participants splash ice-cold water on themselves during a winter season purification ceremony at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo on January 9, 2010. Some 33 people, including several women, took part in the purification ceremony to wish for good fortune in the new year. (Reuters)
I’m not entirely sure, but it seems like this kind of ceremony is called hadaka matsuri (裸祭り). And here’s a youtube video of the ceremony from Associated Press:
It looks really really cold, and I would never want to try it. I think the men were shouting to distract themselves when pouring the icy water over their heads.