Inside Japan's Annual Baby-Crying Competition
In Japan, there is a proverb that states: "Naku ko wa sodatsu" - or "Crying babies grow fastest." It is a belief that the people of the island nation have held true for over 400 years and the largest foundation from which their annual Nakizumo Festival was founded.
During Nakizumo, Japanese parents bring their babies to a local shrine, where these infants go head-to-head in a crying competition. And how do they get these babies to start crying? Just(in) kidding! (Although, it'd probably work.) At the Nakizumo Festival, the parents hand their babies off to a sumo wrestler, who makes faces and shouts "NAKI! NAKI! NAKI!" until they do. And because of the proverb, whichever baby cries first (or whichever baby cries the loudest) wins the competition and is proven to be the luckier, healthier baby. The match then ends with the audience cheering 'Banzai raku!' - Japanese for 'Live long'. So next time you hear a baby cry, reconsider how you feel about it. To the Japanese, that child may grow up to be incredibly lucky!