Light rail passengers in Jerusalem stripped down to their underwear on Sunday for the worldwide annual “No Pants Subway Ride,” drawing embarrassed smiles and dumbfounded stares from fellow travelers.
In bracing 10 degree Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) weather, around 20 young men and women met up at an open-air tram stop on the city’s central Jaffa Street and boarded carriages for the 20-minute ride to Mount Herzl.
“The goal of this event is simply to have fun, to do something strange for the people, so when they board the tram suddenly something strange happens with people taking off their pants,” one man who declined to give his name told AFP.
Another, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said friends had voiced concerns that the show of flesh could bring trouble in a “powder keg” of a city where Orthodox Jewish and Muslim sensibilities are acute.
“But every year, this proves to be wrong,” he said. “Every year, we meet again people who are smiling where they weren’t supposed to smile.”
The offbeat flash mob stunt originated in New York in 2002 and has since spread around the world.
It was the third year running that it has happened in generally conservative Jerusalem.
The idea is that participants behave exactly like normal commuters — just without skirts or trousers.