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Ancient ritual banned for its cruelty. Though it has been officially banned in all of Bulgaria since 2011, dog spinning had been a tradition in the southeastern parts of the country for hundreds of years. Intended to protect the dogs from rabies and performed on the so-called Dog Monday (the Monday before Saint Theodore’s Day), dog spinning has been stigmatized by animal welfare organizations worldwide as an act of cruelty.

The most common version of this ritual involves suspending a dog above water using a rope and spinning it in each direction. The extent of physical or mental harm to the dogs from this ritual remains controversial, though in any case, the ritual had been dying out since the 19th century and had been preserved into modern times only in individual villages.