Mind & Body

Sumo Wrestlers Making Babies Cry Means Good Health in Japan

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A crying baby is a stressful sight for a mother, right? Not the case during one 400-year-old Japanese festival. During a ritual called Nakizumo, sumo wrestlers aim to make infants cry, which some Japanese parents believe will result in good health and fortune for their children. The ritual is a competition, and the first baby to cry wins. If neither baby cries, the matches end with a chorus of "Banzai raku!" which means "Live long." The ritual is held at different shrines all around the country, but the rules may vary from region to region. As Yoshimi Morita, a priest at one of the shrines, told the AFP news agency, "The babies' cries are intended to reach God and parents hope that their little ones will grow healthy and strong."

Written by Curiosity Staff May 31, 2016