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Bourani soup (made of spinach and vinegar) is produced in a huge cauldron in Tyrnavos for the Bourani festival.

Throughout Greece, Clean Monday is the day to fly kites and eat seafood and lagana. In Tyrnavos, however, it’s time to celebrate penises in every possible form—in phallus shaped loaves of bread, lollypops, chocolates, candles and alcohol, sold in phallus—shaped bottles. All passers-by are dragged over to the centre of the main square where the bourani is being made, to give it a stir and a taste it with a shot of tsipouro before kissing the giant phallus. There’s even a rocking horse penis throne to ride, with endless amounts of music, dancing, drinking, teasing and obscenities.

You could be in the warm up ceremony for a 5th century BC Dionysian orgy, although the Bourani festival was only first recorded in 1898. Until the Second World War, it was exclusively male, and including a lot of cross dressing; it was considered too rude for daughters, wives and mothers to see. The prudish military Junta banned it for it a few years, but since then it’s been more popular than ever, all good-natured fun for the entire family.

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by grreporter