An annual festival held to celebrate penises were held – and hundreds have gathered to see enormous phalluses parade through the streets.
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 from far away to watch parades and chow down on the phallus-shaped lollipops.
The event, which began in 1977 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.Rejected by his wife, the demon was going to rob her later 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.
The “Festival of the Steel Phallus” was then born and the Kanayama Shrine became known as a site for sex workers to pray for protection against STIs.

The site is also said to aid fertility, and is popular with the LGBT community.
Today it is reportedly raises awareness about safe sex practices and raises funds for HIV prevention.
It is not the only penis celebration event in the annual calendar in Japan.
The wooden phallus is carried from a shrine called Shinmei Sha – in even years – on a big hill or Kumano-sha Shrine – in odd numbered years – to a shrine called Tagata Jinja.


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