Crying isn’t usually the goal when holding a baby. However, in a festival competition stemming back hundreds of years in Japan, getting a baby to cry actually is the goal. On Saturday, sumo wrestlers hold babies and do whatever it takes, including making faces, making noises, even wearing masks if they have to, to get them to cry.
The festival of Nakizumo, which translates to “crying baby sumo” is deep in tradition in Japan. The belief is a crying baby will promote a healthy and growing baby, and scare off any demons.
The festival is said to be lighthearted and fun. Whoever gets the baby to cry first is the winner. If they both cry at the same time, the sumo wrestler with the louder crying baby wins.