You have probably heard about Christmas; the religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. Maybe you have had to endure the marketing manifesto that is Valentines day? On the other hand, I'm pretty sure you haven't celebrated Kanamara Matsuri...
This annual celebration is a religious holiday celebrated and observed by the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. Ever since 2013, the first Sunday in April has been blessed with illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations and a Mikoshi parade of the penis.
This male celebrating holiday is not exclusive for anti-feminists, or those who may suffer from a slight case of penis envy. Kanamara Matsuri is centred around a local penis venerating shrine. This holy location was once popular among local prostitutes who would visit the shrine and pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
It is also believed that the penis blessed shrine can provide married couple harmony, business prosperity and easily delivery.
Kanamara Matsuri originated from a legend in which a menacing, sharp-toothed demon who hid inside the vagina of a young woman. Unfortunately, the vagina dentata castrated two men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith who constructed an iron penis to break the little vagina devil's teeth.
However, there is more to this story than a genital demon who castrates young men, the festival has become a tourist attraction; drawing thousands of phallic admiring visitors from all over the globe.
Money raised from Kanamara Matsuri is donated for HIV research.