Mar 9, 2014

The Penis Festival of Greece

In the Greek Orthodox Calendar, "Clean Monday" is the start of Lent, the season where believers give up something important to them to commemorate Christ's sacrifice on Easter.

In the village of Tyrnavos, about 200 miles north of Athens, the men give up penises.

So they have a Penis Festival, or Bourani, at the end of their month-long Carnival season.


Bourani is actually a spinach soup. On Clean Monday all of the "initiates," including visiting tourists, have to drink it from a penis-shaped ladle, then sip tsipouro, an alcoholic beverage, from a penis-shaped cup, and finally sit on a penis throne.














You can bring a friend; couples are welcome.

 Meanwhile the men who have already been initiated stand around with penis-shaped scepters singing obscene songs about penises.

There's a parade of penises and other caracatures, and  many vendors plying the crowds with penis-shaped candy and toys.

Such an obviously homoerotic festival has ancient roots.  It was originally in honor of Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine and carousing.

Several puritanical Greek governments have tried to banned the festival, but it keeps going on in secret.

It's mostly men, but women have been allowed since 1980.

While you're in Greece, be sure to fly down to Crete to check out the artifacts of the beefcake-heavy Minoan Civilization.