It’s the mayor and the gator united in blissful matrimony.

A small-village Mexican mayor married an alligator bride in a ceremony that dates back centuries Thursday in hopes of bringing good fortune to his fishing community.

A woman touches a seven-year-old alligator dressed as bride for a traditional ritual marriage
The 7-year-old alligator is known as “little princess” in the community.

San Pedro Huamelula Mayor Victor Hugo Sosa bent down to kiss the reptile more than once while the alligator’s snout was tied shut during Thursday’s jubilant ceremony where trumpets and drums played.

The 7-year-old gator, called little princess, is seen as a deity that represents nature. Her marriage to a local leader symbolizes humans connecting with the divine.

The alligator was carried by locals through village streets as men fanned it with their hats.

Princess the alligator
People carry the bride before a traditional ritual marriage, which likely dates back centuries to pre-Hispanic times.

The colorful ceremony is part of a ritual that can likely be traced back centuries to pre-Hispanic times in the state of Oaxaca’s Chontal and Huave indigenous communities. The fishing village is part of Oaxaca on the Pacific coast.  

“We ask nature for enough rain, for enough food, that we have fish in the river,” said Sosa.

The tradition that is now mixed with Catholic spirituality involves putting the alligator or caiman in a white wedding dress and other color items of clothing. Many groups in southern Mexico have held onto their rich indigenous culture.

A seven-year-old alligator sits next to a wedding dress
The bride prepares to get dressed in the wedding gown.

Elia Edith Aguilar, known as the godmother who put the event together, said the ceremony gives her “so much happiness” even as she worried about what the alligator would wear.

“And makes me proud of my roots,” she said, later adding. “It’s a very beautiful tradition.”