At first glance, you might think it’s just a penis parade, what the huge pink penis being tugged across the street. But it is in fact the Kanamara Matsuri, an ancient Shinto festival designed to honor fertility, prevent STDs, and raise money for HIV research.

The Kanamara Matsuri, which translates to “Big Iron Penis Lord,” is celebrated during the first week of April in Kawasaki, Japan. The event concludes on the first Sunday of April, which this year ironically coincided with the Christian holiday of Easter. So while many Westerners celebrated by eating chocolate eggs and chasing bunny rabbits on April 3rd, the Japanese paraded through town with a big, giant penis.

The festival, which has been held since the 1600s, centers around the legend of a demon that, according to Wikipedia, “hid inside the vagina of a young girl and castrated two young men on their wedding nights.” In retaliation, the young damsel sought the assistance of a blacksmith, who in turn built an iron penis to combat the demon.

This led the Shinto people—Shinto is a form of spirituality practiced by over 90% of Japan’s citizens—to build a giant penis shrine that prostitutes would visit to seek protection from STDs. In due time, the shrine became portable and thus a festival was borne.

Nowadays, the Kanamara Matsuri festival features a plethora of penis-related items like penis-shaped candies, penis-shaped candles, penis-shaped food, and even a gigantic penis-shaped wooden battering ram that also serves as a great sitting spot for hot nurses.

Plus the festival has recently gained strong international appeal, as many tourists tend to gravitate toward it. “In general, traditional Japanese festivals are not very accessible to foreigners, but this one is different,” said head priestess Kimiko Nakamura, during an interview with Reuters in April 2008.

Many tourists even find the Kanamara Matsuri festival rather impressive, in that it’s quite a liberal feat to haul a penis through the ‘Main Street’ of an Asian country, let alone any country. “You wouldn’t find a festival like this in the UK,” said Angela Wheaton. “Maybe in secret somewhere, but nothing like this.”

Feel free to watch a portion of the 2010 festival below. Make sure to keep an eye out for the gigantic moving penis.

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V Saxena
I hail from Raleigh, North Carolina. I was raised in America and intend to bring up my children as proud Americans because I am defined by neither my past nor the color of my skin, but rather by the path I choose to take in life. It is this option to be who and what I want that has me so enamored with my Mother country: the United States of America. For more information, please visit http://conservativenewsfeed.com.