Baby Crying Contest: where tears are rewarded

Most of the time we just want babies to be quiet, in Japan, you will be rewarded if you have a baby cry. At least last weekend, because then the Baby Crying Contest took place in Tokyo.

It is a tradition during the four-hundred-year-old Nakizumo Festival. Sumo wrestlers dress in traditional costumes and try to make babies moan. The baby who starts crying first is the winner.

According to ancient myths, it would bring good health and good luck to the little ones. It also gets rid of bad spirits. The louder they shout, the better. One hundred sixty babies born in 2018 participated in the competition that was held in the Sensoji temple in Tokyo.

Baby Crying Contest: where tears are rewarded
©Getty – Two babies born in 2018 compete against each other

But how does the competition actually work? Two sumo wrestlers stand opposite each other in a circle with the baby on their arms. They shake the babies up and down to make them cry.

To arouse reaction, they make strange faces and shake the babies lightly while shouting ‘Naki Naki’, weeping in Japanese. The baby that cries first wins.

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