Each spring, people flock to Kawasaki, Japan, to celebrate Kanamara Matsuri, aka the “Festival of the Steel Phallus.”
Held this year on April 6, the festival is a celebration of the penis and fertility. People parade gigantic phallic-shaped mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) down the streets during the event, as revelers suck on penis lollipops, buy penis-themed memorabilia and pose with sculptures in the shape of — you guessed it — penises.
According to the BBC, the festival is believed to have roots in the 17th century, when prostitutes are said to have prayed for protection from sexually transmitted infections at Kawasaki’s Kanamara shrine.
The festival raises awareness about safe sex practices and fundraises for HIV prevention.
Thanks to Ray Gaudette for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.