Hadaka Matsuri and Kanamara Matsuri

Weird things happen around the world daily. Take for example the weird festivals held in Japan. It doesn’t get much stranger than Hadaka Matsuri (The Naked Festival) and Kanamara Matsuri (The Penis Festival).

Inazawa, Japan: Hadaka Matsuri

Hadaka Matsuri (“The Naked Festival”) is a Shinto tradition celebrated for more than 1200 years in Inazawa, Japan.

Each year one naked man  is chosen to divest other men of all evil.

To be selected as Shin-otoko is considered a great honor. The chosen man must have all his hair completely shaved, even the hair on his body.

Around 10,000 men aged 23 to 42 crowd the streets dressed in the minimalist style (dressed in loincloths) where they compete to touch Shin-otoko (The Chosen One).

It is believed that touching the Shin-otoko will remove the evil spirits from their bodies.

Most of the participants drink heavily during this event and each year there are a number of injuries.

The Shin-otoko has  bodyguards to accompany him as he makes his way through the streets.

Shin-otoko’s guards, throw cold water on the crowds to help cool things down and prevent the chosen one from being killed in the stampede of half naked men.

(If you are really interested- you can see the video on Youtube. Just search Hadaka Matsuri.)

You think that is strange?

The Penis Festival

The Penis Festival

Thousands of people show up in  Kawasaki to celebrate Kanamara Matsuri. The Kanamara Matsuri is an annual Shinto fertility festival held in Kawasaki, Japan in April.
The festival is centered around a huge pink penis. The Kanamara Matsuri dates back to (1603-1867). It was started by prostitutes who visited the shrine to pray for protection from syphilis. Now the festival raises money for AIDS education and prevention.

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