23:47 GMT29 March 2020
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    © REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
    Men dressed in loincloths prepare to snatch a wooden stick called "shingi" tossed by the priest during a naked festival at Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture Japan February 15, 2020. The person who grabs the wooden stick is considered the "luckiest man of the year".

    Japan is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. This Asian nation can't stop surprising us, and when you think that you've seen everything, this country manages to throw in something new and astonishing.

    Nearly ten thousand scantily clad men gathered on the third Saturday night of November to take part in one of Japan's most eccentric festivals, held at Saidaiji Kannonin Temple in Okayama City.

    The day-long 'Hadaka Matsuri' festival started at 10pm on Saturday after a priest threw bundles of twigs and two lucky sticks for the participants to tussle for them.

    It's believed that those who manage to get the lucky sticks will enjoy good fortune for the rest of the year. Though this years' festival left the participants with only cuts and bruises, past festivals have seen some of the men crushed to death.

    luck, naked man, festival, Japan
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