As we enjoy great festivals, shows and markets this month across New Zealand this post we are going to reflect on just a couple of wierd and wonderful festivals that we don't hold in our beautiful country ...
First the Kanamara Matsuri. Japan's annual penis festival could certainly be called phallic!! Every year, people from the town of Kawasaki in Japan take part in a festival on the first Sunday in April, this year to be held on 3 April which is called The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are also divine protections for business prosperity and for the clan’s prosperity; and for easy delivery, marriage, and married-couple harmony. There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) that hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth, which lead to the enshrinement of the item.
Now if that isn't wierd how about the Baby Jumping Festival. This is one of Spain’s more weird annual festivals which has taken place in the Province of Burgos since 1621. During the act, known as El Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho, men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) jump over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street. The festival has been rated as one of the most dangerous in the world. The origins of the tradition are unknown but it is said to cleanse the babies of original sin, ensure them safe passage through life and guard against illness and evil spirits.
And if that doesn't sound dangerous enough then who'd like to be part of the The Thaipuism Festival. This one definitely isn't for the faint of heart. This Hindu festival is typically celebrated in southern India and involves some of the most intense body piercings known to man. According to practitioners, the more pain you can endure, the more you will be blessed and some even try pulling tractors or other heavy objects with the hooks in their skin.
Not for me for sure!! Perhaps just stick to our own local great Festivals and fun activities. To check out what's on this week stay up to date with our Linku2 Markets Events Calendar!
What could be more fun than wandering around your local market. Fresh baking smells, lovingly handcrafted items, each one unique and special, delicious home grown produce - that's what we love and we hope you do too!