Ever spent a Sunday afternoon out in the sunshine and thought to yourself, “you know what, this is great–but what it’s really missing is a humongous pink penis statue?”
So have we all.
Hence the appeal of Japan’s Kanamara festival, an annual tradition dating back centuries and devoted to all things phallic. There are penis floats! Penis lollipops! Penis-emblazoned t-shirts!
Celebrated in Kawasaki City at the Kanayama Shrine, the festival’s main event is the Elizabeth float–the aforementioned pink penis statue, held aloft the crowd on the shoulders of a host of lucky dick-bearers.
Elizabeth is such a diva that she apparently requires her own little tent.
But Elizabeth’s not the only larger-than-life phallus roaming the streets. There are two other smaller counterparts riding floats–a wooden peen and this iron lady, which gets its own penis cottage:
Believe it or not, there’s actually a lot cultural and religious significance to this giant penis party. The tradition began during Japan’s Edo Period, thrown in honor of Kanamara, the god of blacksmithing. Per Rocket News 24, the smith’s god came to patronize sex workers as well when the area became a popular brothel stop along the travel route from Kyoto to Tokyo. Prostitutes began praying to Kanamara for protection against STDs, and thusly the phallic symbol became associated with prayers for good business, health, fertility, childbirth, and marital bliss.
So the festival also includes tributes to Edo courtesans:
And shrine maidens doing ceremonial dances:
Then, of course, there’s the merch:
Even without the legitimate cultural significance, any party involving giant pink penises is def worth attending. Because penises will always be funny.
Via Rocket News 24