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Pattaya Daily News

25 December 2010 :: 15:12:14 pm 48175

Elephants act as Santa Claus in Ayutthaya

Christmas bells are ringing all over the world. In Thailand, the town of Ayutthaya, which lies north of the capital Bangkok, elephants have donned Santa outfits, to hand out presents to school children. Santa Claus has come to town, but this time as a gentle giant.
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Six elephants wearing red body cover, head gear and socks, some of them with Santa beards, are dancing and performing acrobatic stunts in front of three thousand elementary school students.
The crowds of children is screaming in delight and are scrambling as the elephant Santas throw snacks, balloons, dolls and pencil boxes.

The event has become an annual tradition for at least five years at the Thai school despite the fact that Christmas is a Christian festival while almost all students are Buddhist.

Reangthongbaht Meepan, Owner of Elephant Camp, said, “Christmas is about joy and happiness for people around the world. We bring elephants to get people to have more joy and happiness. Especially for the children, every time they see elephants, they feel happy and want to have activities with elephants.”

Some tourists have also joined in on the Christmas cheer. They could not help comparing the rustic celebrations here to the typical holiday rush back in hometown.

Julia Lamont, , said, “I think people are very busy at home, you know, rushing around at the last minute. But this is nice to see children at school, enjoying themselves at this time. So It’s lovely.”

In return for the treats, the children and teachers hand out bananas to the friendly elephants.

Thai elephants are an endangered species as well as the national symbol. Many of them are housed in elephant’s camps here in Ayutthaya, the ancient royal capital.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Community News

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