On the second Sunday of March each year, Japanese people flock to the city of Nagaoka for its annual Hodare penis festival. Japan has several phallus-themed festivals but Hodare is the biggest draw. Women who have married in the past 12 months don traditional Japanese bridal gowns and straddle a giant 7ft wooden penis, which is paraded through the streets.
The custom is believed to bring fertility, good luck, and marital success to those who take part while the huge penis which weighs a whopping 95 stone, is celebrated as an emblem of good fortune, and carries religious significance for locals who believe that praying and touching the giant penis will bring them luck.
Thousands of festival goers line the streets to stroke the penis as it goes past. The festival takes place in the early Spring to symbolise new life and a new wooden penis is carved from cedar each year. Such festivals are not new to Japan with some going as far back as the 17th century but the events have grown in popularity in recent years, with tourists flocking to attend them.