Did You Know That Japan Has A Completely Ridiculous Penis Festival Once A Year?

It features some really big penises.

1. So this is what Kanamara Matsuri — The Festival of the Steel Phallus — looks like.

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2. It generally falls on the first Sunday in April, in Kawasaki, Japan.

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3. It’s centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who prayed for protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

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4. It features penis lollies.

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5. And penis waxworks.

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6. The shrine was also said to offer business prosperity, easy delivery, marriage, and married-couple harmony.

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7. But why’s it called “The Festival of The Steel Phallus”?

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8. Well, it’s all about a legend of a sharp-toothed demon that hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights.

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According to Wikipedia.

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9. Bit of a shocker. So the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth, and that’s why it became a shrine.

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But today, the festival is used to raise money for HIV research.

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This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that some of the information came from Wikipedia.

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Alan White is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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