By Gisela Crespo
MEXICO (CNN) –– A Mexican mayor married a crocodile this weekend to bring abundance to the town he leads.
This tradition dates back hundreds of years in the town of San Pedro Huamelula, in southern Mexico.
The reptile bride, dressed in white and with a flower crown on its head, is paraded around town to music before a ceremony takes place.
The ceremony symbolizes the union of two indigenous groups, the Chontales and the Huaves (also known as the Mareños).
The two lived in conflict in pre-Hispanic times, when the Huaves arrived to the land where the Chontales lived on the Pacific Coast, news agency EFE reports. They both claimed to have the power to bring good luck to the harvest.
According to the legend, conflict between the groups ended when the son of the king of the Chontales and the daughter of the king of the Huales fell in love and eventually got married, local media reports.
These days, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula represents the prince of the Chontales and the reptile crocodile is the princess of the Huale people.
Mayor Victor Aguilar said “the Mareños call [the crocodile] a ‘princess’ and the role I play is being the husband to the princess.”
After the ceremony, there’s more music and dancing, including a dance between reptile and groom.
The wedding is part of festivities in honor of Saint Peter, the town’s patron saint.
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