The Japanese celebrate April Fool's Day

To the penisJapan celebrates crazy phallic festival

At this festival everything is under the sign of the phallus. Every first Sunday in April, the penis is celebrated in Kawasaki, Japan.

At "Kanamara Matsuri", the festival of the steel penis, the Japanese carry three oversized phallus figures in pink through the streets, cheered on by thousands of people from all over the world. Many visitors seem to plan their vacation in Japan so that they can be there.

The crazy pictures: men dress up as virgins, viewers suck lollipops in the shape of a penis or vagina, toddlers run screeching around statues of cocks, presumably without knowing their meaning.

What sounds like an offensive April Fool's joke is a Japanese custom. It has its origins in the 17th century. Prostitutes came to a penis shrine in the Edo period (1603-1868) to pray for good business and protection from disease.

The "Kanamara Matsuri" has been taking place since 1977, slightly modified, every year more colorful and louder. The penis is celebrated as a symbol of fertility. The “real” iron phallus is exhibited in the world's only penis shrine, the “Wakamiya Hachiman-gū Shrine” in Kawasaki.

And by the way: There are also explicit vagina festivals in Japan.

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