Updated: Apr 10
Now we have heard of some strange competitions around the world such as wife carrying, nettle-eating, air guitaring and hill rolling, but a competition to make babies cry? Interesting..
Japan holds an annual competition called the Nakizumo Crying Baby Festival. The event is held in good spirit to embrace the superstitious belief that crying babies grow up strong and healthy whilst also keeping evil spirits away at the same time.
Each baby is held by a sumo wrestler and the competition rules are pretty simple, two babies are in a duel and the first baby to cry wins the round, if the babies cry at the same time then the baby who wails the loudest is given the win.
In order to gently make the babies cry, a scary mask may be worn which is usually the bird demon tengu which is one of the evil spirits believed to be drawn away by crying babies. I mean, check out the mask pictured below, creepy stuff right.
Another way to make the babies cry is to chant at the baby the words "naki naki" which translates to "cry cry".
Sometimes the big sumo wrestlers who are holding the babies will pull funny faces in order to trigger the babies crying. If a big fat sumo wrestler pulled a funny face at me I would probably cry too!
The festivals are done in good spirits and are all about the proud parents showing off their babies and welcoming them to the world and bringing them good luck for the future.
Pretty weird stuff if you ask me but who am I to judge?
George The Monkey