Sunday, May 31, 2009

World’s Strangest Festivals

~ I recently received a bunch of photographs from a friend depicting images from a unique – to say the least – annual Japanese festival.

Yes folks, it is the colloquially named Japanese ‘Pen!s Festival’.

Here is what that wonderful online resource, Wikipedia has to say about the event.

The Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus) is an annual Shinto fertility festival held in Kawasaki, Japan in spring. The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April.

The pen!s forms the central theme of the event that is reflected everywhere — in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.

The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local pen!s-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are divine protections also in business prosperity and the clan's prosperity, easy delivery, marriage, and married couple harmony.

There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon that hid inside the vag!na of a young girl and castrated two young men on their wedding nights with the young girl before a blacksmith fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, leading to the enshrinement of the item.

Today, the festival has become somewhat of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia...

NOTE: Sorry to seem like a prude by misspelling the word pen!s, but I don't want to get this blog flagged as offensive, and have the Blogger thought police closing my account!

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