It seems there is a Japanese festival for everything.
Right now the Penis Festival is underway or, as it's officially known in Japanese, Kanamara Matsuri. This term translates into English as "Festival of the Steel Phallus".
The phallus, being the central theme of the event, is depicted everywhere. Illustrations, floats, figurines, carved vegetables and decorations. These guys have it all!
During the event, large penises are paraded through the streets of Kawasaki Japan, where festival goers can be seen taking photos with the phallic objects and even buying memorabilia.
There is however, an important social element behind the event. The festival, which started in 1969, aims to raise awareness for sexual health and works to celebrate fertility. This objective is said to have grown out of a Japanese legend.
The legend involves a woman who had a demon living in her vagina. When she attempted to become pregnant the demon bit off not one, but two penises that attempted to impregnate her. The problem was only overcome when she went to a blacksmith, who fashioned her a steel penis. The demon broke its teeth on the steel phallus and it was only then that she was able to live a normal life.
It's ultimately for a great cause, as all the profits raised from the event go to HIV research. So there has never been a better reason to visit Japan.
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