9 Of The Weirdest Fertility Rituals From Around The World

Natasha Bird

When it comes to trying to conceive, everybody and their mothers has advice to give.

From the bog standard "ease off the wine love", through to "eat three bananas a day," there's always someone who thinks they have the answer.

While many of these recommendations are probably sensible, there are some rather far-fetched suggestions in circulation around the globe.

Monkey pee anyone?

Baboon pee is thought to have fertility powers! [REX]
Baboon pee is thought to have fertility powers! [REX]

Here are nine of the most weird and wonderful fertilty rituals still observed in different parts of the world, as researched by Holland and Barrett.

Festivals

The Kanamara Matsuri festival in Japan is a celebration of the penis. Yep, that's right, people walk around with large penis-shaped Mikoshi (shrines) in celebration of the phallus. It was thought to have started in the 17th century, and prostitutes would gather at the penis shrines, praying not to be afflicted by sexually transmitted diseases.

The festival still survives today and many tourists flock to Kawasaki to take part at the beginning of April.

The Watering of the Girls in Holloko, Hungary plays out very much as the name suggests. Dating back to the 2nd Century AD, the festival consists of men and women flocking to the streets in traditional dress to take part in what is essentially a huge waterfight, except it's really just the girls getting wet.

It is thought that this act of cleansing will empower them with the gift of fertility.

Traditional Hungarian dress. [REX]
Traditional Hungarian dress. [REX]

The Annual Phallus Festival, Tyrnavos, Greece is yet ANOTHER penis festival. (Where on earth is the vagina celebration we ask you?).

This one involves just as much merriment, as well as kissing a giant penis statue and eating penis shaped bread.

Needless to say, the Greek Orthodox church isn't too fond of the penis-themed festivities.

Rituals

Stick your thumb in the Weeping Column, Turkey. In Istanbul, at the Hagia Sophia - at one time a church, then a mosque, now a museum - there is a sacred column, and it weeps holy water. Women wanting a fertility boost place their thumb inside a specific hole and then rotate it as close to 360 degrees as possible. Blessed by the sacred water, luck will then be on their side for conception.

Sleep on the Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorset. There is a peculiar giant etched into the ground in the rolling hills of Dorset - a giant, brandishing a club and...er... a rather prominent manhood. It is thought that if you take a little sleep on the 180 foot giant, he'll grace you with lots of babies.

Apparently the surrounding areas have some of the highest birth rates in the country, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Sit on the Miracle Chair in Naples, Italy. A ritual dating back 200 years, it is reported that a nun once spent the last days of her life in that chair. And on her passing, she became Saint Maria Francesca, who women pray to for fertility. Sitting on that blessed chair gets you closer to her.

The Cerne Abbas giant. [REX]
The Cerne Abbas giant. [REX]

Food And Drink

Some tribal communities in Zimbabwe think that drinking Baboon Urine is the clever thing to do. Interestingly, as the advice goes, you're supposed to mix it with beer before you drink it.

Another popular and equally disgusting option is to drink a shot of beetle juice. Or, actually, fly juice. The Spanish fly (also known as the blister beetle) is thought to increase one's sexual function. The Marquis De Sade used to use it.

It secretes an acidic, poisonous juice that when ingested causes irritation and inflammation around the genital area.

We wouldn't exactly advise this one.

And finally, in Asia, they might have you eating Bird's Nest Soup - a concotion that Chinese medicine practitioners created from the nests of swiftlet birds, who create their homes using only their salvia.

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So there you have it. Will you be trying any of these out, or should these rituals be left firmly in the past? Let us know in the comments!