The Mayor of a small Mexican village married an alligator in what has been hailed a "very beautiful tradition".
Victor Hugo Sosa, Mayor of San Pedro Huamelula in Oaxaca, tied the knot with his bride – who was wearing a wedding dress – in a colourful ceremony last Thursday (June 30).
Traditional indigenous music blared as revellers danced and encouraged Sosa to seal the nuptials with a kiss.
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He obliged, bending down to peck the reptile whose jaw had been tied together to avoid any wedding day calamities.
The alligator was then paraded through the village, carried by locals as men lined the streets to fan the newly-wed with their hats.
It is thought that the bizarre marriage dates back centuries and is a tradition of Oaxaca state's Chontal and Huave indigenous communities.
The ceremony is linked to nature and good harvests.
"We ask nature for enough rain, for enough food, that we have fish in the river," said Sosa.
San Pedro Huamelula is a small fishing village on Oaxaca's Pacific coast, one of Mexico's poorest regions.
The area is home to arguably the country's richest indigenous culture, where many people still maintain pre-Hispanic languages and traditions.
Over the years this specific tradition has taken on some Catholic elements, hence why the alligator was draped in a white, flowing wedding dress.
The seven-year-old reptile is believed to be a deity representing mother Earth. Her marriage to a local leader is meant to symbolise the unity between humans and the divine.
She was dubbed "little princess" by wedding-goers.
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Elia Edith Aguilar, who organised the ceremony, explained that she felt privileged to do so, noting that she took considerable time picking out the perfect dress for the scaly bride.
"It gives me so much happiness and makes me proud of my roots," she said.
"It's a very beautiful tradition."
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