When you think of festivals, what comes to mind? Music? Carnivals? Popcorn, soda, and neon glow sticks? Well, you got the stick part right. A festival takes place in Japan every year honoring a steel penis!
People flocked to Kawasaki Japan for the event, an annual festival held every first Sunday in April, celebrating a 17th century tale about a penis that defeats a demon. The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, or “Festival of the Steel Phallus” is like any other festival: serving candy, and vegetables, decorations and knick knacks–all shaped like a penis.
A parade, where instead of local figures in politics or balloons are displayed, has large phalluses transported down the route. The parade is centered around a phallic shrine, often used by prostitutes to pray against sexually transmitted diseases.
Though the festival, which began in 1977, started out with few party go-ers, it’s become a larger event. Utilizing its theme, they now use the festival to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS.
The original legend which this is based on, tells the the tale of a sharped-toothed demon that hides inside a vagina of a young woman. Two men, due to this demon, were castrated on their wedding nights. Because of her unfortunate vaginal friend, she sought help from a local blacksmith, who created a steel phallus to break the demon’s teeth: thus the reason for the shrine, parade, and festival.
Will you be attending next year?