On the first day of Lent, a very special and cruel ritual is practised in Bulgaria. In the village of Brodilovo in southeastern Bulgaria, a dog is suspended on a rope above a river. Then the dog in the rope is turned numerous times in one direction in order to wind the rope. Shortly after, the dog is released making it spin rapidly in the opposite direction while unwinding the rope. For hundreds of years this bizarre ritual has been carried because it was believed to prevent rabies.
When the spinning is done, the dog falls into the river below, where a net is held to capture it. The dog is unable to swim when it hits the water because of the many and fast spins. Following international news stories about the events, the tradition was banned by law in 2006. Unfortuneately, it didn’t help in the years after, as the events still took place. Eventually, members of Animal Rights Sofia guarded the banks of the river, which led to the tradition being stopped. (via: wikipedia.org)