Kanamara Matsuri Festival 2023

Japan
in 2 months
Estimated attendance: 30k visitors annually.
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Kanamara Matsuri Festival
Kanamara Matsuri
, also known as the "Festival of the Steel Phallus" is an annual event held in Kawasaki, Japan that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. The festival is centered around a giant, pink, steel phallus, which is paraded through the streets of Kawasaki and is believed to bring good luck and fertility to those who participate.

When it's Kanamara Matsuri Festival 2023?

Starts
31 Mar 2023
Ends
02 Apr 2023
Length
2 Days
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The origins of the festival can be traced back to the 17th century when a local prostitute, suffering from a sexually transmitted infection, prayed at the Kanayama Shrine for a cure. Her prayer was answered, and in gratitude, she donated a wooden phallus to the shrine. This phallus, which can still be seen at the shrine today, is believed to have healing powers for those suffering from STIs.
Over time, the festival has evolved to become a celebration of fertility, sexuality, and the power of the phallus. Today, Kanamara Matsuri is a popular event that is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Festival's Activities

The festival begins with a traditional Shinto ceremony at the Kanayama Shrine, where participants offer prayers for fertility, safe childbirth, and a happy marriage. The main event of the festival is the parade, which features the giant, pink, steel phallus, as well as smaller phalluses of many sizes and colors. Participants carry the phalluses through the streets of Kawasaki, accompanied by traditional Japanese music and dance.
In addition to the parade, there are also several other activities and events taking place throughout the festival. These include food and craft vendors, live performances, and traditional Japanese games and competitions.
One of the most popular activities is the mawashi, a traditional Japanese loincloth worn by sumo wrestlers. Participants can rent a mawashi and join the parade, carrying a phallus and dancing through the streets.
Another popular activity is the "phallus smashing," in which participants use a wooden hammer to break open a small, symbolic mochi (sweet rice cake) in the shape of a phallus. This activity is said to bring good luck and fertility.

The Significance of Kanamara Matsuri

Kanamara Matsuri is not only a celebration of fertility and sexuality, but it also serves as a reminder of the importance of sexual health and the acceptance of diverse sexual identities. The festival is a safe and inclusive space where people can come together to celebrate and learn about distinct aspects of sexuality.
In recent years, the festival has also become a platform for raising awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and research. Many of the vendors and organizations at the festival are focused on promoting sexual health and education.
Kanamara Matsuri is a unique and colorful festival that offers a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture and celebrates the power of the phallus. It is a must-see event for anyone interested in learning more about Japanese culture and is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Whether you are visiting Kawasaki for the first time or are a seasoned traveler,
Kanamara Matsuri
is a festival that should not be missed.
The festival is held every first Sunday of April each year and it is a family-friendly event. It is also a perfect opportunity for travelers to experience the traditional culture of Japan, as well as to learn more about the importance of sexual health and acceptance of diverse sexual identities.