Here's why a man fell in love with a crocodile and married it
You may now kiss the bride, except you can't because this 'bride' turns out to be a crocodile.
"What? A man married a crocodile? How is that even possible? That's insane!" These thoughts may have crossed your mind when you first read the headline, prompting you to click in a rush, eager to satisfy your curiosity about this seemingly absurd occurrence.
But don't worry, it's not your fault. The concept does sound bizarre, and you would be even more surprised to learn that there was a big formal wedding held at the Town Hall, with the entire town in attendance. The man even kissed his ‘bride’ at the end of the ceremony!
Indeed, it is awkward and weird, but it's important to recognise that this is a respected cultural practice in Mexico that holds significance for certain communities.
So, stay with me. Keep an open mind as we break this apart, shall we? Thank you.
Who married a crocodile?
The husband of the newlywed crocodile happens to be the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, a town inhabited by the Indigenous Chontal people in the Tehuantepec isthmus of Mexico.
Victor Hugo Sosa, the groom in this union, chose Alicia Adriana, a crocodile as his lawfully wedded bride, and boy did this guy profess his love!
During the ceremony, Sosa spoke on the importance of love in marriage and said during the ritual, "I accept responsibility because we love each other. That is what is important. You can't have a marriage without love. I yield to marriage with the princess girl." (The townspeople refer to the reptile as "Princess girl".)
This event took place on July 1, 2023. At the end of the event, the mayor planted a kiss on the snout of the crocodile to officially seal the deal.
Something along the lines of “you may now kiss the bride”. Only this bride has her mouth tied shut to avoid “kissing” back.
What’s the story behind this unusual marital bond?
Now to the main gist. Why does this happen? What drives Mexican people to marry crocodiles?
In Mexican culture, the reptile holds great significance, symbolising power, strength, and courage, as witnessed in ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans. It is revered as a symbol of authority and divine wisdom.
In the context of this specific ceremony, the crocodile is perceived as a deity, personifying the Earth itself. The act of marriage holds so much importance in this ritual, symbolising the deep connection between humans and the divine.
It is worth noting that this unusual ceremony is not a recent occurrence but has a longstanding history that predates the Spanish colonization of Mexico. For over 230 years, this tradition has been observed, likely dating back even further to the pre-Hispanic era, particularly among the indigenous Chontal and Huave communities in the state of Oaxaca.
Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca is arguably the country's richest in indigenous culture and home to numerous groups that have maintained and preserved their ancient traditions.
What happens in this marriage ceremony?
In this peculiar ritual of San Pedro Huamelula, the priest adorns the crocodile in a white wedding dress along with various colourful garments.
The 'bride', referred to as "the Princess" by the local community, would be all dressed up and specially prepared for her wedding day. She wears a custom-made white wedding gown, and a veil, and completes the look with a floral crown.
Prior to the wedding ceremony, the crocodile would be paraded from house to house, allowing residents to hold her in their arms and dance. During this procession, the reptile would be worn a green skirt, a colourful hand-embroidered tunic, and a headdress of ribbons and sequins.
This ritual is believed to bring about prosperity and blessings to the community.
So if you have ever thought it absurd that people marry animals, you're not alone.
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