26/04/2011 16:13 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Japanese Baby-Crying Contest - Harmless Or Mean?

Mums are usually trying to get their babies to STOP crying - but not at this bizarre event in Japan.

The annual Naki Sumo (crying baby contest) marks the high point of spring and is held every year at the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo.

The aim is to get babies to howl and cry as loudly as possible.

Mums bring their babies along to the event where Sumo wrestlers and high priests help to thoroughly upset the little tots.

It can't be too difficult - I imagine any baby would find a Sumo wrestler pretty terrifying.

Take a look at this clip from the contest and see what you think.

The baby which cries loudest and longest is declared the winner of the contest.

It is believed that the event will bring good health to the babies and that crying is actually beneficial for them. Their mums pray for good health as they are held up high, and the ritual, which is 400 years old, is believed to ward off evil spirits.

I'm sure Penelope Leach would have something to say about this - it was only last week that the parenting expert was telling us that crying is bad for babies' brains.

What do you think - is this a harmless ritual or is it a bit mean?

Source: Daily Telegraph