Something weird is erecting in Japan.
The country’s Festival of the Steel Phallus (a.k.a. Kanamara Matsuri) kicked off Sunday, which draws hundreds of visitors every year to celebrate all things penis. Needless to say, it’s quite the experience. Party-goers jaunt around donning penis masks while others suck on manhood-themed lollipops. Phallic foods, penis candles and even giant penis-themed mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) are also abundant. There’s even a penis parade!
Before you get any ideas though: No, that’s not what she said.
Known to locals simply as “Penis Festival”, the bizarre event reportedly raises awareness about safe sex practices, but it has its roots all the way back to the 17th century. Because, as you probably expected, the origins of this festival are nothing short of REALLY weird.
The legend begins with a demon who fell in love with a beautiful woman. But rather than, you know, courting her, the demon instead hid inside of the woman’s nether regions, where he did some pretty horrific things to her subsequent lovers (the demon’s name was vagina dentata. Go ahead, Google it). The young woman was then forced to seek the help of a local blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus that could break the demon’s teeth.
And there you have it! The makings of a street festival. It’s held on the first Sunday of every April, if you ever want to attend.
We just have two words of advice for you, if you do: Parental. Advisory.