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Thousands of near-naked men seeking luck have scrambled to find two sacred sticks as part of an ancient Japanese festival. It's thought about 10,000 men wearing white loincloths took part in the ceremony at the Kinryozan Saidaiji Buddhist temple in Okayama on Saturday. Participants were purified in water before scrambling to find sticks that had been thrown into the crowd. Those who found the 20cm-long sticks, called "shingi", are believed to be the luckiest men of the year. Image caption The annual festival has been happening for 510 years Image caption The men are purified in cold water before the hunt for the shingi begins. This was the 510th anniversary of the Saidaiji-eyo festival, wh... Full story

18 February