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On Sunday, huge crowds took to the streets of Nagaoka to celebrate the annual Hodare Festival. During the festival, newly wed women sit atop a giant wooden penis as it is carried down the street. According to tradition, this will bring them marital bliss, fertility, and good luck.
Hodare means both “male genitals” and “the ripening of rice plants” in Japanese. This festival is religious to some as they believe touching the penis and praying will bring them good fortune throughout the year. The festival originally started as a small gathering, although as time goes on the festival gets larger and attracts bigger crowds. The festival consists of the parade as well as having many different vendors of phallic shaped candy and other penis themed products. Check out the video below for footage from the 2017 Hodare Celebration.
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