Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, aka the Festival of the Steel Phallus, sees giant manhood-shaped shrines take over streets in Kawasaki, Japan. Held every year, the event sees visitors coming from far afield to watch parades and chow down on phallus-shaped lollipops. The event, which started in at the Kanayama Shrine , celebrates the male appendage and fertility. It is believed to have its roots in the 17th Century, following the gory tale of a sharp-toothed demon who fell in love with a beautiful woman. Spurned by his lady, the demon proceeded to rob her subsequent lovers of their pride and joy in particularly horrific ways. It was not until a local blacksmith forged a steel phallus, which broke the demon's teeth, that it was vanquished forever and the woman was free.
Urban Dictionary: National Penis Day
Every year on the first Sunday of April in Kawasaki, Japan, one might cross paths with a peculiar sight — a succession of enormous erect penises parading down the street under the strength of men in traditional female garb. This year, photographer B. Van Sise was in attendance of the annual Festival of the Steel Phallus , a regional tradition dating back to the 17th century that today serves as a platform for the benefit of HIV research. Here, Van Sise shares his experience and some of the history behind what is perhaps the most phallic festival in the world. Early April in Kawasaki, Japan, is set aside for the Kanamara Matsuri, or the festival of the steel phallus, in which a hundred thousand revelers come here to celebrate one thing:
Japan's Annual Penis Festival Is As Phallic As You'd Expect (PHOTOS)
Held this year on April 6, the festival is a celebration of the penis and fertility. People parade gigantic phallic-shaped mikoshi portable Shinto shrines down the streets during the event, as revelers suck on penis lollipops, buy penis-themed memorabilia and pose with sculptures in the shape of -- you guessed it -- penises. According to the BBC, the festival is believed to have roots in the 17th century , when prostitutes are said to have prayed for protection from sexually transmitted infections at Kawasaki's Kanamara shrine. Today, the festival reportedly raises awareness about safe sex practices and fundraises for HIV prevention.
Special penis shrine books will even be available for the first time this year. This steel shaft then destroyed the demon, instantly restoring fertility, and now a phallus replica and the spirit of the blacksmith is preserved at the shrine, with both being paraded around the neighbourhood once a year in a lively celebration involving more than 50, attendees. This year, the festival will be held on 7 April, and organisers have just announced the rundown of events and activities for the day, which are as follows:. This year, organisers have added a very special souvenir for attendees, in the form of an original Kanayama Shrine Goshuincho , which is a booklet used to collect seals from shrines and temples around the country.