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Being trapped on public transport with a crying baby is one of life’s greatest tests.

You can’t do anything about it, the parent can’t do anything about it – all you can do is pray it’ll please, please stop.
But at a certain festival in Tokyo yesterday, attendees wanted anything but peace and quiet.

On Sunday 30 April at the Sensoji Temple at Asakusa, the baby crying contest – Nakizumo – took place in Japan.

Throughout the competition, 160 babies born in 2016 participated in the spring event which celebrates and prays for babies’ health and growth.

As you might have guessed, the baby that cries the first wins.
Since the contestants are, you know, babies, each much be held up to face the other by an amateur sumo wrestler.

Each wrestler and others in the ring attempt to make them cry, either by gently shaking them, tickling them or wearing scary masks as a sumo referee stands in the centre of the ring.

The 400-year-old festival is supposed to bring the babies good health

If all else fails, they pull out the masks
And the baby that cries the earliest and loudest wins.

It sounds pretty mean, but the atmosphere is light hearted, and the lucky winning baby is given (along with its not-so-lucky parents) the honour of being deemed the healthiest – rather than most irritating – baby.

And according to the tradition will have a long, active life.
So next time a baby kicks off on the train to work, think – at least it’s not a festival full of them.
Wo

The loudest crying baby contest
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