By Ravneet Ahluwalia
Today (21st June) marks the start of the ninth annual dog meat festival in Yulin. But what is it and why has the event in this remote part of southern China proved to be so controversial in recent years?
What is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?
The Yulin “Lychee and Dog Meat” festival is an annual 10 day event where over 10,000 dogs are eaten. Cat meat, fresh lychees and liquor are also available at the festival.
When and where does it take place?
It takes place in Yulin, a city in the Guangxi province of China, and runs from the 21 to 30 June during one of the hottest weeks of the year.
How did it start?
The first festival took place in 2009 to mark the summer solstice. Dog eating is traditional in China, and according to folklore eating the meat during the summer months brings luck and good health. Some also believe dog meat can ward off diseases and heighten men's sexual performance.