Sumo wrestlers paraded around the wrestling ring at a temple in Tokyo holding up wailing babies in a ritual believed to bring good health and ward off evil.

Around 160 babies took part in the “crying sumo” ceremony at Sensoji temple which dates back four centuries.

Two by two, the babies were held up and jiggled by amateur wrestlers and encouraged to cry as their parents took pictures and cheered from the sidelines. Judges decide which of the two cried loudest.

Children unfazed by the commotion were approached by the judges with scary masks to scare them into tears.

Similar events are held at temples across Japan. Participants have to have been born in the previous year and are chosen through a lottery.

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