- Title: JAPAN: Japanese take a dip in ice water at New Year's ablution ceremony
- Date: 11th January 2009
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 10, 2008) (REUTERS) KANDA MYOJIN SHRINE GENERAL VISITORS OFFERING PRAYERS SHINTO PRIEST OFFERING PRAYERS ICE WATER BATHERS WEARING ONLY SHORTS OR LOINCLOTHS BOWING AND OFFERING PRAYERS BATHER SHIVERING BATHERS CHANTING BATHER HOLDING PAPER SHIVERING BATHERS RUN TOWARDS ICE WATER POOL SHRINE OFFICIAL GUARDING BATHERS
- Embargoed: 26th January 2009 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAD32EWFT6WWSX7P6I9R5DIB4JH
- Story Text: Dozens of Japanese pour ice cold water over themselves in a traditional "soul-purification' ceremony at a Tokyo shrine to wish for good luck in 2009.
Braving winter temperatures, dozens of people showed up at a Japanese shrine on Saturday (January 10) wearing only shorts or loincloths before taking a "purification" dip in ice cold water.
At the annual New Year's ceremony at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo, participants offered prayers and chants before they jogged around the shrine grounds and stepped into a pool of ice water.
Then, they poured water over themselves - an action they believe would purify their souls and bring them good luck.
Bathing in cold water, or standing under waterfalls is a traditional Shinto purification rite.
"I felt numb in the water. Now it hurts," said 35-year-old participant, Mizutaka Kanazawa.
"Going into the water wasn't much problem, but when you get out of it, you really start feeling cold," added Shiroh Motohashi.
The day-time temperature in Tokyo on Saturday fell as low as 3 degrees Celsius, or 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
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