Hadaka Matsuri: Thousands gather for Japan’s ‘Naked Festival’

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Tokyo (CNN) — Thousands braved chilly weather on Saturday to gather at the annual “Naked Festival” in Okayama prefecture in the southern part of Japan’s Honshu island.

The event, called “Hadaka Matsuri” in Japanese, is a wild and raucous festival held every year on the third Saturday of February at the Saidaiji Kannonin Temple, about a 30-minute train ride from Okayama city.

But the 10,000 or so male participants aren’t as naked as the festival’s name suggests.

They sport a minimal amount of clothing; usually a Japanese loincloth called a “fundoshi” and a pair of white socks called “tabi.”

The festival, which celebrates the blessings of a bountiful harvest, prosperity and fertility, starts at around 3:20 p.m local time with a separate event for…

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