Thousands of Men Battle for Lucky Sticks in 'Naked Festival'

Image: Naked Festival Takes Place At Saidaiji Temple
Men cram into the temple waiting for priests to drop the sacred talisman at the Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Festival at Saidaiji Temple on Saturday in Okayama, Japan.Trevor Williams / Getty Images

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Wearing only loincloths, thousands of men cram into the Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, Japan waiting for priests to drop the sacred talisman at the Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Festival on Saturday. Some 9,000 men battle to grab a pair of lucky sticks thrown by priests in this vibrant Japanese festival. The lucky recipients are guaranteed happiness for the coming year.

A Japanese priest looks over men wearing only loin clothes in freezing temperatures waiting to grab one of the two sacred sticks thrown by temple priests inside the Saidaiji Temple.EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN / EPA
A Japanese father and son pray in freezing temperatures inside the Saidaiji Temple at the start of the Saidaiji Naked Festival.EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN / EPA