(NSFW) A Not So Clean Monday at The Annual Phallus Festival in Greece

By on February 19, 2018

Each year on the first Monday of Lent, the people of the tiny Greek town of Tyrnavos go crazy about penises, singing lewd songs and urging passersby to kiss their model phallusses.

The pagan fertility festival is one of the most famous parties in Greece and attracts an international audience to participate in the festivities which– not surprisingly– are frowned upon by the Church.

People eat phallus-shaped bread, drink through phallus-shaped straws from phallus-shaped cups, kiss ceramic phalluses, sit on a phallus-shaped throne and sing dirty Greek songs about the phallus in the Greek town of Tyrnavos each year on “Clean Monday.”

The one-day pagan fertility festival in this town of 15,000 people near the central Greek city of Larissa marks the beginning of Lent, the fasting period before Easter, and is one of the most famous carnivals in Greece.

The festival symbolizes renewal and rebirth, a tradition dating back thousands of years.

Come prepared. Passersby tend to be grabbed and rocked over a pot of boiling “bourani” spinach soup while a ceramic penis is placed between their legs. They must kiss the phallus, then drink tsipouro — a strong local spirit — from its tip, and then stir the soup before they’re let go.

Phallus-kissers are rewarded with ash-streaks on their face, which presumably absolves them from having to go through the procedure again.

The festival is in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, madness and ecstasy. While the men, women and children of Tyrnavos celebrate the penis, the rest of Greece marks the beginning of the pre-Easter fast more modestly by flying kites and eating octopus, olives and unleavened bread.

Phallic worship was popular in ancient Rome, Egypt, India and Japan– and of course, Ancient Greece. Museums throughout the country showcase various ancient phalluses in all shapes and sizes. On the island of Delos, there are huge statues left behind from Greece’s pagan past.

Until the 1940s, the penis party was reserved for the town’s men folk. Over the years women gradually joined it and even children enjoy it these days.

Many people consider the festival to be vulgar but locals defend their ancient tradition.

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