A centuries-old tradition at a town in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture has a quirky and fun way of welcoming new husbands into married life.
Celebrated every Jan. 15 to strengthen the town’s new marriages, the 300-year-old tradition also signals the arrival of the Lunar New Year, reports Mashable. As part of the event, the grooms are lifted over the shoulders of other men as they are paraded through town. The husbands are then given a few rounds of sake which they have to drink before being brought up to the Matsunoyama Onsen atop a hill.
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The alcohol, which is intended to help the grooms somehow endure the impact of hitting the snow, is also given to the men who toss them.
Upon reaching the top of the hill, the grooms are thrown down into the snow, where they then roll their way down into their wives who are waiting for them at the bottom.
The grooms are then tasked to light a bonfire, from which they get ashes to mix with some snow in a practice called “Suminuri.”
To attract good fortune, the couples rub the soot mixture all over each other’s faces while screaming, “Congratulations!”
This one-of-a-kind tradition reportedly originated from an old town belief of teaching new husbands a lesson as revenge for taking their village girl. After they’re tossed, the husbands would earn the town’s acceptance.