I have a cousin living in Japan and as usual I’d been procrastinating with visiting. While on the phone with her one day she told me about a festival that I may be interested in, Kanamara Matsuri.
Kanamara Matsuri, also known as “The Penis Festival,” is an annual celebration held on the first Sunday in April. It takes place at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan and it celebrates fertility, safe sex, business prosperity and more recently it raises money for HIV research.
The main attraction of the parade is a large penis that is carried to the shrine. People from all over the world come to pray for protection from STD’s and for fertility.
In honor of Kanamara Matsuri people come dressed as, you guessed it, penises. They wear penis glasses, eat penis shaped food and candy, some even attach dildos to themselves.
I had an amazing time celebrating with friends and embracing another culture. I can understand how some may look at this celebration as something vulgar, but after witnessing it I can assure you that it’s not. It’s nothing but a lot of peace, love and positivity with music and great food.