Worshippers plunge into ice bath to mark new year

Devotees of a shrine in Tokyo welcomed in the new year with an ice-cold bath in an annual tradition that goes back 68 years. Forty people took part in the event at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine on Sunday, where the men and women donned loincloths and white gowns before plunging into water filled with ice blocks. The Shinto ritual is said to purify the soul and bring good health in the new year.