We know some people treat their dogs like royalty, but we didn’t realize that some people actually treat their dogs like God!
Take this regal pup living amongst the Miao people in the Jiaobang village in Guizhou province, China. According to the Independent, the villagers have celebrated an annual tradition for centuries in which they choose one dog to honor by dressing it up in specially tailored human clothes and a hat, and carrying the pup around in a parade on a makeshift “throne” while people sing and drum.
This custom, known today as the Dog Carrying Festival, is based on a legend about a dog who led the first settlers to water when they were dying of thirst. The South China Morning Post says the dog was believed to have been heaven-sent. Over the years, the event came to be known as “taigoujie,” or the dog-lifting festival.
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Each year, the chosen dog is carried throughout the village in a procession lead by a shaman. While the event is mystical in its origins, the people throw very down-to-earth mud at each other during the ritual, as part of a prayer for peace, health and prosperity.
While this exotic fido festival might amuse some, others claim it’s cruel. All we know is that Americans, particularly celebrities, love to dress up their dogs and carry them around, too. Worshipping pups on a throne probably isn’t so far behind.