- Title: Japanese take ice baths at Tokyo's shrine in purification ritual for New Year
- Date: 8th January 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 8, 2017) (REUTERS) PARTICIPANTS RUNNING TO WARM UP BEFORE ENTERING WATER PARTICIPANTS RUNNING VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS CHANTING BEFORE ENTERING WATER ICE CUBE IN BATH VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ENTERING ICE BATH VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHANTING IN ICE BATH (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 48 YEAR-OLD PARTICIPANT, MASASHI SHIMIZU, SAYING: "The weather was harsh this year, so I couldn't think about anything but try hard to do my best to complete this ice bath ritual healthily." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHANTING IN ICE BATH (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 40 YEAR-OLD PARTICIPANT, MIHO HEWA, SAYING: "My two children and husband all became ill with flu in the beginning of the new year, so I bathed in ice water hoping that my family will be able to stay healthy during the rest of this year and go to school and company well." PEOPLE GETTING OUT FROM ICE BATH SIGN READING (Japanese): "TEPPOZUINARI SHRINE" PEOPLE CHANTING AFTER BATH AUDIENCE WATCHING AND CHANTING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHANTING AFTER BATH GATE OF SHRINE
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 06:17
- Keywords: Japan ice baths shrine ritual purification New Year pray health
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Human Interest/Brights/Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y7YRTL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: About one hundred people in Japan gathered at a Tokyo's shrine to wash themselves in an icy bath on Sunday (January 8) to purify their souls and wish for good health in the new year.
Dressed in traditional white clothes for the ceremony, the 101 participants, including nine women, jogged around the shrine and did physical exercises to warm up their bodies.
They then joined in a group chant with media and audiences watching by the side, before entering the freezing water to do another round of chanting.
This annual Shinto ritual, in its 62nd year this time, was held under cloudy skies with temperature nearing two degree Celsius (35.6 F), which organizers said was one of the coldest day in the past decades.
"The weather was harsh this year, so I couldn't think about anything but try hard to do my best to complete this ice bath ritual healthily," said Masashi Shimizu, 48 year-old participant, who has joined this event every year for more than ten years.
"My two children and husband all became ill with flu in the beginning of the new year, so I bathed in ice water hoping that my family will be able to stay healthy during the rest of this year and go to school and company well," said Miho Hewa, 48 year-old participant, who started the new year with trying to be healthy to take part in this event.
The event is usually held within a shrine on the second Sunday every year, while this year it was held in a park near the shrine due to its reconstruction.
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