The Hadaka Matsuri refers to a ton of mini-naked events that
occur all over Japan throughout the month of January. Traditionally only men
participate in Hadaka Matsuri, wearing pretty skimpy little numbers called
?fundoshi? (think Sumo Wrestler garb meets loin cloth), and these men must
be pretty studly because temperatures in Japan in January can drop to around
freezing. Although each event has its own history and focus, many events
date back thousands of years to Shinto traditions and are supposed to bring
good luck, honor the gods, and keep the participants? families safe in the
One of the most famous events is called Hadaka Mairi, aka the Naked Temple
Visit, which is held in the first week of January in the northern province
of Fukushima. Every year around 200 men parade through the streets of
Yanaizu until they reach the Enazo-ji shrine. From there, they climb the 113
steps to the gate of the temple where the men purify themselves with icy
water from a sacred trough. Once all the men have gathered, the temple bell
rings, and they race into the main building and compete to climb a rope
suspended from the ceiling. The first ones up ring a gong and then hoist
themselves up to the rafters of the temple, yelling encouragements to
the men who have yet to make it up.
Burning Man ? Black Rock Desert, Nevada
This week-long event brings together an insanely diverse group of over
50,000 participants who come together in the Nevada desert to create a
radical, experimental community full of social events and art installations.
The festival?s 10 guiding principles are: radical inclusion, gifting, de-commodification,
radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic
responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. No
money is allowed at Burning Man, and only a few things are sold there ?
participants are encouraged to barter and gift whatever they need during
Clothing is optional, although the burning hot weather during the day
discourages even the modest from wearing much at all. Most participants
bring elaborate costumes, wear wigs, body paint, and whatever else best
expresses themselves. ANYTHING goes here!
Boryeong Mud Festival- Daecheon Beath, South Korea
The Boryeong Mud Festival was originally created in 1998 as a marketing
scheme to promote ?mud cosmetics,? aka the mineral rich mud that washes up
on the shores of Daecheon Beach. The advertising campaign was a total
splash! In 2009, an estimated 80,000 people, mostly young adults from across
the world, came to the beach to participate in events such as: The Mega Mud
Tub, mud sliding, a mud prison and mud military training.
The participants wear as little clothing as possible, and not surprisingly,
by the end of the day they are covered head to toe in the good-for-you mud.
Love Parade ? Berlin, Germany
The Love Parade originated in 1989 and was celebrated in West Berlin just
months before the demolition of the Berlin Wall. It was originally held as a
protest for understanding through love and music and created by Dr. Motte, a
German DJ. Today the Love Parade draws over 1.4 million people from all over
the world and features sets by some of the most famous DJs in the world. The
blasting techno and house music and enthusiastic crowd turns the parade into
a kind of gigantic rave.
Bay to Breakers ? San Francisco, California
Although many know Bay to Breakers as a wildly alternative and mostly nude
San Francisco tradition, not many people know that the race actually holds
the world record for oldest foot race with the same consecutive course. The
first Bay to Breakers was held in 1912 to lift the spirits of San
Franciscans after suffering the devastating 1906 earthquake. Around 60,000
people compete in the race in recent years, many of whom do not actually run
the course but walk behind the runners in themed outfits (or themed lack of
clothes), some in large groups or teams and some individually.
World Body Painting Festival ? Seeboden, Austria
The World Body Painting Festival has been held annually since 1998, and it
has become the most comprehensive meeting place for body painting artists,
teachers, and models. The first half of the week-long event combines
workshops taught by master body painters and contests in categories like
special effects and sponge and brush techniques; the second half consists of
an actual festival event that is open to the public.
The Running of the Nudes ? Pamplona, Spain
This festival was organized by PETA in 2002 to rally against the cruelty
bulls experience during the Running of the Bulls and bullfighting in
Pamplona. The run happens two days before the actual Running of the Bulls
with the slogan, ?Out with the old, in with the NUDE!?.
Kanamara Matsuri ? Kawasaki, Japan
The name of this slightly bizarre festival translates to ?Steel Phallus
Festival? and is a Shinto fertility celebration held during the first week
of April. The festival centers around a folk tale about a Japanese girl who
has a sharp-toothed demon living inside her nether region! After she
practically castrates multiple suitors, a magical blacksmith constructs a
steel phallus that breaks the demon?s jaw and frees the girl from its