Quirky Japan: The Festival of the Steel Phallus


Photo from: Nazcar Pine

Just when you thought Japan can’t get any quirkier, they just recently celebrated their annual festival of the steel phallus.

The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri or Festival of the Steel Phallus is held annually during spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The festival is celebrated on the first Sunday of April.

The center of the celebration is the phallus and this is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and parade.

The Kanayama Shrine is popular among prostitutes. It is where many go to pray for protection from sexually-transmitted diseases. Moreover, the shrine is also believed to offer protection for business prosperity, clan prosperity, easy delivery, marriage, and married-couple harmony.

The festival is celebrated every year since 1977. It used to be a small festival but it grows bigger and bigger with more tourists attending it.

The festival is also used as a platform to raise money for HIV research.

What do you think of this festival? Have you attended one? How was the celebration?