( dpa ) - Two newly-wed couples dared to return to their hometown of Matsunoyama in northern Japan, knowing that the grooms were going to be tossed, off a 5-metre high snowy cliff, a tourism official said Wednesday.
In a 300-year-old tradition, villagers take hold of men who married women from the region and in mid-January toss these interlopers off a snow bank.
Known as mukonage, the tradition began in a time when locals in the isolated mountain village would take revenge on men from other communities who had moved in on their scarce stock of women and married within the village.
When wives run over to help their husbands as they crawl out of the snow embankment, the love between the two is said to grow stronger, according to local lore.
"As I received my husband at the bottom of the hill, I felt that our love deepened," the 31-year-old Miho Mikami told Japan's daily Mainichi Shimbun. "I hope we get to have a big family with many children."
The couple left their Tokyo home to take part in the tradition on Tuesday.
Along with the number of couples dwindling, the amount of snow is also less each year, putting the age-old tradition at risk.