07/04/2014 09:35 BST | Updated 07/04/2014 09:59 BST

17 Decidedly Phallic Images Of Japan's Annual Penis Festival Kanamara Matsuri (PICTURES)

The streets of a Japanese village had a distinctive visitor this weekend in the form of a gigantic penis.

No, Dappy wasn't in town, rather it was Kawasaki’s annual Festival of the Steel Phallus (Kanamara Matsuri), which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of April.

It’s a celebration which dates back to Japan’s Edo era in the 16th century and would see prostitutes gather outside a shrine to pray for financial prosperity and protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

SEE ALSO: Historical Penis News Just In: Napoleon Had a Teeny Weeny

japanese penis festival

The annual festival of the steel phallus (Kanamara Matsuri) is held on the first Sunday of April

Fest3000 adds:

"A more fantastic tale lies in the fabled 'vagina dentata,' or toothed vagina, which supposedly castrated several poor young men on their wedding nights. The woman cursed with the toothed vagina (most likely a metaphor for syphilis, which was common then) went to see a blacksmith, who forged her an iron dildo in order to break the teeth of her inner demon, thus protecting the penis of her future suitor. The Kanamara shrine is dedicated to the blacksmith, and over the centuries sex workers have paid pilgrimage to the shrine to seek its powers of protection."

Photo galleryFestival of the steel phallus See Gallery