Representational image Photo: AFP / NORBERTO DUARTE

A man in Mexico married a female caiman, an alligator-like animal in a ceremony which is said to bring good luck to the groom and his people.

Victor Hugo Sosa is the mayor of a small Mexican town and the ritual he performed is centuries old and is meant to bring prosperity.

The ceremony took place over the weekend in San Pedro Huamelula, a town of indigenous Chontal people in Oaxaca state. Marriage between a man and a female caiman is conducted to mark the day two indigenous groups- the Chontal and Huave groups- came to peace almost 230 years ago.

It is said that the two groups were able to establish peace after a Chontal king married a princess girl of the Huave indigenous group. In the modern times, the Huave princess is represented by a female alligator.

The caiman is taken from one house to the other clad in a green skirt, a colourful hand-embroidered tunic and a headdress of ribbons so people can take it their arms and dance around a bit. She was decked up in a white bridal costume and taken to town hall for the wedding. The groom even kisses the bride once the rituals have been performed.

Shortly after tying the knot, the couple were seen dancing to the festive music and the lawmaker was seen holding his bride.

"It is the union of two cultures. The union of the Huaves and the Chontales," Mayor Victor Hugo Sosa told AFP.

Instances of human–animal marriage have been recorded in other parts of the world as well. In some cases, the weddings took place to ward off bad luck and attract wealth, while in other cases, people got too disappointed with humans and decided to spend the rest of their lives with their pets.

In 2016, a similar incident was reported in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand when a seven-year-old boy was forced to marry a female dog to ward off his future bad luck.

Mukesh Kerayi's horoscope predicted that his first wife would die young. Also, he had grown a tooth in the upper part of his mouth, which according to traditional beliefs is a bad omen.

In order to avoid the death of his future first wife, Mukesh's parents married him to the dog. At the wedding, the dog was dressed in a bridal outfit, while the residents of Manik Bazar village turned out for the celebrations just like a normal marriage. However, after the ceremony was over, the dog was kicked back to the streets.

In September 2014, a teenager in Jharkhand was married off to a male dog after her parents believed their daughter was cursed and that marrying a man would bring destruction to the family and her community.

In 2007, a 33-year-old farm labourer married a dog because he believed he had been cursed for killing two dogs. P. Selvakumar from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu married a four-year-old female stray after suffering from a series of physical ailments.

Similarly, a divorced British woman named Amanda Rodgers reportedly married her pet dog as she found comfort in her loyal pet terrier named Sheba. The wedding took place in August 2012 in a romantic ceremony with 200 guests in Split, Croatia.

Rodgers got divorced just months after her first wedding to her now ex-husband. She decided to marry her pet Sheba following more unpleasant encounters with other men. "Sheba had been in my life for years, making me laugh and comforting me when I was feeling low. I couldn't think of anything more I'd need from a life partner," Rodgers had said then.

In San Francisco, California, a man married his pet dog. The marriage was legal as the state allowed him to take the wedding vows. Other weird instances of human-animal unions include a 41-year-old British millionaire marrying Cindy, a dolphin in Israel.