If you’ve ever wished to spend an entire day making inappropriate puns or piping up with “That’s What She Said” jokes for 24 hours straight, then I have the festival for you!
Each year on the first Sunday in April, thousands of locals and tourists gather at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan, to partake in one of the most notorious festivals in the world: Kanamara Matsuri, also known as the Festival of the Steel Phallus. Yep. It’s the Penis Festival!
Unlike many festivals, the origins of the Penis Festival are pretty easy to trace back. Legend has it that an unfortunate woman was stricken with quite an unpleasant malady; she had a demon living in her vagina. To make matters worse, the demon had razor-sharp teeth and a habit of castrating any unfortunate penis that entered! What is a girl to do? Well, after her second husband was castrated on their wedding night, this girl paid a visit to the blacksmith who forged a metal dildo to break the demon’s teeth – hence, “The Festival of the Steel Phallus”.
The Kanayama Shrine, where the festival takes place, is popular for all things to do with sex. Sex Trade Workers frequent the shrine to pray for protection against sexually transmitted infections. The shrine is also popular with couples praying for fertility, safe child-birth, and harmony in marriage. Funds raised during the festival go towards HIV research.
What can you expect during the festival? Well, you can expect a whole lot of dong; there are penis statues everywhere! There are also penis shaped foods and candies, and, of course, the penis parade where a giant pink penis is carted around for all to see and celebrate. For a personal account (and some pretty amazing photographs), check out Zooming Japan.
Have you been to Kanamara Matsuri? If so, let us know what you think of the festival!
When: April 7th, 2013
Where: Kanayama Shrine, Kawasaki, Japan
- Peenzilla Worship! Japan’s Kanamara Festival Coming Up this April! (en.rocketnews24.com)