Japan's traditional Nakizumo, or crying sumo, festival took place Sunday as babies competed to bawl the loudest in the arms of sumo wrestlers as a prayer to the gods for good health, the dpa reported.
Parents pray at the annual event at the Sensoji temple in the Tokyo district of Asakusa for their children to grow up in good health as young sumo wrestlers hold their babies high in pairs so that their cries are closer to heaven.
The baby with the loudest howls is declared the winner by the sumo judge.
The babies' cries during the 400-year-old festival, which is celebrated across Japan, are supposed to drive away evil spirits.
The festival does not always pass off as the parents and adults expect, with some babies refusing to cry on the open-air stage at the Asakusa temple.
The judge repeats "nake, nake (cry, cry)" into the microphone, while the sturdy sumo wrestlers attempt to evoke tears with deep growls and wild grimaces.
To the amusement of the crowds, some of the babies start to laugh, while others remain completely silent.
At points like these the wrestlers and priests don ferocious masks, which sets the babies off crying.