Dog spinning

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Dog spinning (Bulgarian: тричане на куче(та), trichane na kuche(ta)) is a ritual practiced on the first day of Lent in the village of Brodilovo in southeastern Bulgaria.

In dog spinning, a dog is suspended above water on a rope. The dog is turned repeatedly in a given direction to wind the rope, then released so that it spins rapidly in the opposite direction as the rope unwinds. This ancient ritual of pagan origin was performed in order to prevent rabies.[1]

A reference to this practice in English is in a press release issued by the UK Green Party, issued on July 29, 2005. It includes a statement from Green Party MEP Dr Caroline Lucas, vice-president of the RSPCA and the European Parliament's cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup. Dr Lucas criticised it as being cruel to dogs, saying "Dog-spinning is a barbaric practice and must not be allowed to continue into the 21st century."

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported the practice in March 2005.[2]

The "Sofia Echo" reported the practice in March 2011.

The practice of the ritual was banned by the mayor of Tsarevo in 2006[3] after complaints by Bulgarian animal welfare organizations.[4]


Historically the ritual was performed in many other parts of Bulgaria as well and although the exact practice varied regionally, e.g. whipping the dogs instead of spinning them, it was performed on the same date and with the same goal.In the Strandja however, dogs were venerated, and a non harmful ritual was performed. A version of the ritual has been reported in England as early as 1869.[5]


  1. ^ Кмет забрани жесток обичай с кучета (in Bulgarian)
  2. ^ Aftonbladet: ”Barbarer!” (in Swedish)
  3. ^ Забраниха жестокия ритуал с кучета в Странджа (in Bulgarian)
  4. ^ Сигнал във връзка с "тричане на куче", 15.03.2005 (in Bulgarian)
  5. ^ St. Clair, Stanislas Graham Bower; Brophy, Charles A. (1869). A residence in Bulgaria, p.39 (in English)

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