It's that time of year again. No, not the start of baseball season. Not the April end to March Madness either.
We're talking about the Festival of the Steel Phallus (Kanamara Matsuri) in Kawasaki, Japan.
Sunday's festival (see photos below) allowed revelers to celebrate all that is penis. And don't worry, Mom, those penis lollipops for sale were for a good cause: raising awareness for HIV prevention, according to reports.
Revelers in the streets paraded peen-shaped Shinto shrines called "mikoshi," emphasizing the spiritual roots of the schlong-a-thon. The festival's inspiration reportedly goes way back. In the 17th century, a 1-meter "Steel Phallus" was reportedly erected by a local blacksmith that honored Shinto deities of fertility and childbirth. Prostitutes were believed to have prayed there for protection from sexual diseases.
Nowadays, "People come to pray for good fortune and to ask the gods to protect them," Hiroyuki Nakamura, a local priest of the shrine, told AFP. "The festival is steeped in the past but still has a valuable part to play in modern society."
According to Metro UK, visitors on Sunday also sported giant penis purses and even "straddled a giant wooden phallus." Hey, what's a street fair without rides?
Penis festival highlights: