Annual China village ‘Dog Carrying Day’ worships a pup as a god

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Here’s a complete turnaround of events concerning dogs. An event, which happens annually in southwest China by the Miao people of Jiaobang village in the Guizhou province, celebrate Dog Carrying Day. In the century old tradition, a dog is dressed up in human clothes,  wears a silver necklace, a hat and is carried in a specially designed chair and worshiped as a god.

According to the South China Morning Post,  the legend centers around the first settlers in the area who had been dying from thirst when a dog led them to the water supply; thus the beginning of the festival honoring dogs. Villagers believed the dog had been a “heaven sent miracle.” Water shortages are common to the area as porous rocks absorb water. During the parade, a chosen dog is lifted into the wooden chair carried with bamboo poles while a shaman carries a black scepter through the street accompanied by singing and a beating drum.

The celebration has become  known as taigoujie, or the dog-lifting festival. Participants throw mud at each other as a prayer to the god for peace, health and prosperity. There have been some criticisms of the festival with animal lovers, stating the dog is treated cruelly. It is not known how the particular dog is chosen.

In enPeople, after the photos were  released on Aug. 16, the Internet erupted with claims of animal cruelty for mistreating the dog they intended to honor. With a thick chain around the dog’s neck and the dog having been stuck in a small chair, people were very disappointed and quite demonstrative as to their feelings. Still others supported the celebration and even made reference to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival comparing the way dogs are treated so differently.

What do you think?

(Photo via screenshots from enPeople.)

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9 replies
  1. Pamela Garlisch says:

    I don’t see bad treatment of a dog, yes it is put in a chair, but people put animals in chairs all the time. Better than Yulin and if it makes them honor dogs so much the better! I think sometimes animal advocates do go off the deep end.

    • Allan says:

      Sooo a thick chain around this dog’s neck and sitting upright is ok with you? Wow you have problems if you find this acceptable!

      • Nancy Raymond says:

        You are absolutely right Allan – wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they ate the dog afterwards – this country’s cruelty to animals is unsurpassed.

      • ellen cottone says:

        the dog who helped the original settlers didn’t do it because he was a god or god sent.
        he showed the humans where water was because he was a local and they were from out of town and he can see they were struggling from deadly thirst. he cared. he was merciful. this is not god. this is dog.
        god made dog in his image. these villagers overshot it.
        If this part of china wants to show thanks they can do so by really using their time and energy wisely.
        Shut down the god dam yulin dog festival !! in the other part of china.
        both ridiculously stupid practices only go back a 100 years. yes i know thats a big revelation.
        little secret,
        the dog eating festivals were started as a way to freak out the Tibetans. Its not part of any Chinese religion of deep culture. weve been conned.
        the practice goes back to nothing so it really shouldn’t be that hard to get rid of this inhumanity by humanity to animal friends.

  2. susispot says:

    I’m glad they honor the dog. But, why can’t they just let dogs be dogs? The chair doesn’t bother me but the costume does. Dogs don’t belong in clothes. It’s quite stupid in my mind.

  3. pamela bolton says:

    They need to work on the abuse and KILLING OF DOGS more than playing dress up with the dog. this doesn’t make up for all the dogs that are tortured, murdered and eaten. Doesn’t nearly make up for all the abuse of these dogs.


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