Dozens of worshippers carrying solely loincloths and bathrobes with headbands and facemasks plunged themselves into icy waters as a part of a conventional ritual in Tokyo on Sunday, wherein additionally they prayed for an finish to the pandemic.

Three girls, who donned white robes, and handfuls of males in loincloths chanted, clapped and prayed earlier than bathing within the freezing waters filed with blocks of ice as a part of a Shinto ritual at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine. 

Comparable scenes occurred final 12 months in the course of the annual occasion, which has been scaled down because of the ongoing state of affairs.

Daring dozens: Worshippers carrying solely loincloths, bathrobes and facemasks plunged themselves into icy waters in Tokyo

The traditional Shinto ritual - which involves bathing in icy water - takes place every year at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo

The normal Shinto ritual – which includes bathing in icy water – takes place yearly at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo 

Known as Misogi, the ritual comprises bathers entering icy water and washing the whole body for the purpose of purification

Generally known as Misogi, the ritual includes bathers getting into icy water and washing the entire physique for the aim of purification 

This year's event has been scaled back compared to early 2020 when a hundred participants took part in the ritual ceremony

This 12 months’s occasion has been scaled again in comparison with early 2020 when 100 individuals took half within the ritual ceremony

Donned in white robes, loincloths and masks, participants chanted, clapped and prayed before entering the freezing waters

Donned in white robes, loincloths and masks, individuals chanted, clapped and prayed earlier than getting into the freezing waters 

The ritual took place during the coldest month of the year in Tokyo, where temperatures average lows of 3 degrees Celsius

The ritual occurred in the course of the coldest month of the 12 months in Tokyo, the place temperatures common lows of three levels Celsius

A participant splashes icy cold water into his face as part of the Misogi ritual held on Sunday at the Teppou-zu Inari Shrine

A participant splashes icy chilly water into his face as a part of the Misogi ritual held on Sunday on the Teppou-zu Inari Shrine

This compares to greater than 100 individuals in early 2020, earlier than coronavirus grew to become a world disaster.

The ritual occurred in the course of the coldest month of the 12 months in Tokyo, the place temperatures common between lows of 37 levels Fahrenheit (3 levels Celsius) and highs of 49 levels Fahrenheit (9 levels Celsius).

Generally known as Misogi, the ritual includes washing the entire physique for the needs of purification.

Held on the second Sunday of each year, on this latest occasion the event had the added theme of 'warding off epidemics'

Held on the second Sunday of every 12 months, on this newest event the occasion had the added theme of ‘avoiding epidemics’

The wider public was not invited to attend the traditional ritual as Japan  attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus

The broader public was not invited to attend the standard ritual as Japan  makes an attempt to curb the unfold of coronavirus 

The worshippers line up and stop in thoughtful prayer before entering into the the waters filled with large ice blocks

The worshippers line up and cease in considerate prayer earlier than getting into into the the waters stuffed with giant ice blocks 

Held on the second Sunday of every 12 months, on this newest event the occasion had the added theme of ‘avoiding epidemics’.

‘I hope that quickly the world and coronavirus pandemic relax and everybody will have the ability to transfer freely,’ mentioned participant Yoshiko Shibada after finishing the Misogi ritual. 

Wearing face masks, the participants clasped their hands together and continued to chant and pray in the freezing water

Carrying face masks, the individuals clasped their fingers collectively and continued to chant and pray within the freezing water

Men and women took part in the ceremony, which is traditionally held to purify the soul and pray for health in the new year

Women and men took half within the ceremony, which is historically held to purify the soul and pray for well being within the new 12 months 

The ceremony took place against the stunning background of the centuries-old Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo

The ceremony occurred towards the gorgeous background of the centuries-old Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo

Praying for good health: Dozens of participants took to the freezing water to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic

Praying for good well being: Dozens of individuals took to the freezing water to wish for an finish to the coronavirus pandemic

The participants clench their hands together in front of their stomach and shake them up and down as part of 'spirit shaking'

The individuals clench their fingers collectively in entrance of their abdomen and shake them up and down as a part of ‘spirit shaking’

The purpose of 'spirit shaking' in the ceremony is said to help participants become more aware of their spirits within

The aim of ‘spirit shaking’ within the ceremony is alleged to assist individuals grow to be extra conscious of their spirits inside

The practice involves reciting prayers and incantations that help dispel any impurities from a person's body and mind

The observe includes reciting prayers and incantations that assist dispel any impurities from an individual’s physique and thoughts

In current days, Japan has reintroduced restrictions on bar and restaurant opening occasions in three areas because it makes an attempt to stem a surge in coronavirus instances linked to US army bases.

The restrictions have been introduced into impact for a month in Okinawa and elements of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi.

Infections have additionally been on the rise in bigger cities, together with Tokyo, which reported 922 new instances on Friday – the best since mid-September.

Participants prayed for an end to coronavirus, which has begun to surge in cities again across Japan in recent weeks

Individuals prayed for an finish to coronavirus, which has begun to surge in cities once more throughout Japan in current weeks

The participants were quite animated as they chanted, clapped and prayed shortly before plunging into the freezing water

The individuals had been fairly animated as they chanted, clapped and prayed shortly earlier than plunging into the freezing water

The worshippers chanted and made the same movements, including this rowing action, as part of the traditional ceremony

The worshippers chanted and made the identical actions, together with this rowing motion, as a part of the standard ceremony

A handful of women worshippers donned in white robes took part in the ceremony, held at the centuries-old shrine in Tokyo

A handful of girls worshippers donned in white robes took half within the ceremony, held on the centuries-old shrine in Tokyo

Dozens of participants clasped their hands together and shook them up and down as they took part in the Shinto ceremony

Dozens of individuals clasped their fingers collectively and shook them up and down as they took half within the Shinto ceremony

After bathing in the waters, the participants continued to pray for the purification of their spirits and renewed good health

After bathing within the waters, the individuals continued to wish for the purification of their spirits and renewed good well being

A large block of ice floats in the bathing pool used by dozens of worshippers as part of the purification ceremony on Sunday

A big block of ice floats within the bathing pool utilized by dozens of worshippers as a part of the purification ceremony on Sunday

The worshippers threw their arms into the air as they chanted prayers and incantations to purify their spirits and body

The worshippers threw their arms into the air as they chanted prayers and incantations to purify their spirits and physique

Worshippers row their arms back and forth as they take part in the traditional purification ceremony in Tokyo on Sunday

Worshippers row their arms forwards and backwards as they participate within the conventional purification ceremony in Tokyo on Sunday

Participants took part in the annual ceremony, which has been held for decades at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo

Individuals took half within the annual ceremony, which has been held for many years at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine in Tokyo

Some of the movements were more similar to exercise than prayer during the centuries-old Misogi ritual held on Sunday

A number of the actions had been extra just like train than prayer in the course of the centuries-old Misogi ritual held on Sunday

Moment of reflection: This year's ceremony had added poignancy as worshippers prayed to end the coronavirus pandemic

Second of reflection: This 12 months’s ceremony had added poignancy as worshippers prayed to finish the coronavirus pandemic

The worshippers took part in 'spirit shaking', which involves moving the hands and arms up and down rigorously in the water

The worshippers took half in ‘spirit shaking’, which includes shifting the fingers and arms up and down rigorously within the water

Hands together now: The worshippers focused on prayer as they asked for purification and renewed health in the new year

Arms collectively now: The worshippers centered on prayer as they requested for purification and renewed well being within the new 12 months 

Dipping a toe in the water: The first of participants tentatively feels the temperature of the icy cold water before entering

Dipping a toe within the water: The primary of individuals tentatively feels the temperature of the icy chilly water earlier than getting into

Prayer to end coronavirus: This year's ceremony asked for an end to the pandemic as Japan faces a resurgence of the virus

Prayer to finish coronavirus: This 12 months’s ceremony requested for an finish to the pandemic as Japan faces a resurgence of the virus

Head down in prayer: One participant takes a moment to reflect before taking a bath in the freezing cold waters in Tokyo

Head down in prayer: One participant takes a second to mirror earlier than taking a shower within the freezing chilly waters in Tokyo

One Shinto believer poses with a child following his traditional bath in the freezing waters during the New Year ritual

One Shinto believer poses with a toddler following his conventional bathtub within the freezing waters in the course of the New 12 months ritual

Prayer for good health: The participants wore face coverings and headbands with their loincloths for their traditional bath

Prayer for good well being: The individuals wore face coverings and headbands with their loincloths for his or her conventional bathtub

Dozens of participants followed a ceremony leader at the front and mimicked his chants and movements throughout

Dozens of individuals adopted a ceremony chief on the entrance and mimicked his chants and actions all through

Warming thoughts: The traditional ceremony is intended to purify a person's body, mind and spirit for the new year ahead

Warming ideas: The normal ceremony is meant to purify an individual’s physique, thoughts and spirit for the brand new 12 months forward

The prayers were all the more poignant this year as new infections in Japan surged from 200 to 4,000 daily on average

The prayers had been all of the extra poignant this 12 months as new infections in Japan surged from 200 to 4,000 day by day on common

Throughout Japan, new infections exceeded 4,000 on Thursday, in contrast with a median of 200 a day final month. 

Omicron has now been recognized in 80 per cent of Japan’s 47 prefectures.