Sacred animals: who are they and in which countries?

For religious, historical or mythical, countries sanctify a particular animal. Some species – like crocodiles – may seem scary to us and yet, they are the subject of a real worship in some parts of the world. Overview.

The cow in India

The mammal that inhabits our countryside is certainly the most sacred animal. more famous in the world. Considered the mother humans, the cow symbolizes the fertility, abundance of food and as such, is seen as a lucky charm for crops. In India, it is forbidden to coerce the animal, to insult it, to to kill and eat it. The bovid roams freely in the streets, on the markets, the roads, sometimes generating traffic jams that motorists take with philosophy. Each year a celebration is dedicated to him during which a cow is bathed and decorated in temples. Another popular festival takes place in the village of Gumatapura where locals and tourists engage in a battle of dung to avoid getting sick. Many Hindus believe that cow dung has properties curative.

Elephant in thailand

Venerated for 5,000 years by the Thais, the elephant embodies the prosperity. Symbol of strength and wisdom, he personifies the powers of the Buddha. Until 1917, the animal appeared on the flag official of the country but remains present today only on the standard of the navy of war. In 1963, the elephant White is declared a national emblem, thus representing the religion, the nation and the royalty. Used as a tourist attraction, elephants are now banned from circulation in the streets of Bangkok where they provoked many accidents and were often injured. In 1998, Thailand decreed March 13 as National day of the elephant (Chang Thai Day). In addition to ceremonies, the event helps raise public awareness of the protection and the conservation of the pachyderm.

The tiger in China

Since antiquity, China has regarded the tiger as the king of beasts, embodying the power, beauty and feats military (it was also used as a symbol in the armies having defended the emperors). The country has attributed to the feline the metal as an element, the justice as a virtue and autumn as a season. Legends associate tigers with the power to exorcise evil and defeat the demons, that is why their claws and fangs were used as amulets to drive out evil spirits and preserve the health. Today, the Chinese intend to ward off misfortune by means of pillows, hats and shoes in the shape or effigy of the tiger.

The turtle in Vietnam

Legend has it that in the XVe century, King Li had defeated the Chinese invaders with a magic sword. Bringing theindependence in Vietnam, he had founded a dynasty in his name. Having become emperor, he had his sword by a turtle from Lake Hoan Kiem who had promised to keep it until the country needed it again. In 2016, the death of Cu Rua, a giant tortoise weighing 170 kilos, aged between 80 and 100, had moved the entire nation. The animal had been embalmed to allow the people to pray before him in Hanoi and then deposited in a temple located on a small Isle in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake. Since that date, the reptile has attracted a crowd of curious people and believers who see it as the keeper of the magic sword. The legend of the sacred turtle is taught to schoolchildren Vietnamese.

The crocodile in Burkina Faso

Renowned for its dangerousness, the prehistoric-looking reptile is respected in Burkina Faso where the population gives it the power to fulfill wishes. It is said that more than seven centuries ago, a crocodile saved the life of an inhabitant of the village of Bazoulé, by helping him find a water point. In return, the man vowed to protect his rescuer. Since then, the villagers have kept a watchful eye on the few 150 specimens frequenting their locality and feeding them regularly with chicken. It is also said that the natives can swim with them and the to touch thanks to a tacit pact guaranteeing harmonious cohabitation between each party. When a crocodile dies, the locals organize funeral and bury the animal. The presence of the reptile also helps attract tourists and bring the village to life.

The cat in Japan

In the land of the rising sun, the cat is the animal more anchored in folklore and popular culture. Known to ward off evil spirits and protect children, the feline owes its worship to a legend: on the tenth day of the fifth moon in the year 999, a mandarin offered Emperor Idi-Jô a white pussy for his thirteenth birthday. A thousand years later, the animal became the Maneki Neko, a statuette depicting a sitting cat with one paw in the air. Considered a lucky charm, the feline figurine is found on many signs, in shop windows, at the entrance to institutions and shops. headquarters major Japanese banks to welcome customers. The most common breed in the country is the japanese bobtail whose particularity is to sport a very short tail and coiled up on herself.