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  1. #1
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    Kanchanaburi's Sangkhla Buri district Elephant Feast

    Kanchanaburi's Sangkhla Buri district JUMBO FEAST

    A centuries-old tradition makes a move to June

    Over 400 kilometres to the west of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Karen mahouts have for centuries held their annual elephant cake festival in April - but that was before they were asked to change the month by the Thai authorities starting this year.


    In Mai Pattana village of Kanchanaburi's Sangkhla Buri district, elephants are enjoying "cakes" made from piles of bananas, jackfruit, watermelons, and sugarcane.
    The animals are worked by Karen mahouts and their feast is part of a long-standing tradition dating back to the Sukhothai period, aimed at boosting the morale of elephants before their work season resumes.
    "I am happy to see them get plenty of food to eat. Elephants and mahouts are like brothers, parents and children, and best friends to each other.
    We must work as a team," said Ju Ker, a 50-year-old Karen mahout.
    A few kilometres away, Mon women carrying alms offerings on their heads walk with agility across a long wooden bridge to visit revered monks. "We learned how to carry things on our head during childhood. We became experts. It makes us walk with an upright back. If we enter the Miss Thailand pageant, we won't have to waste time learning how to walk upright," said Achom Hongprakaifa, 18.


    Previously, Karen people in Sangkhla Buri held the feast for their elephants in April.
    It is too hot in April for the animals to work and the feast is meant to refresh them before their work season resumes with the rains.
    Last year, however, the Tourism Authority of Thailand persuaded Karen mahouts to put the elephant cake festival forward to June, because April already has the Songkran festival as its highlight.
    Postponing the festival keeps the authority's tourism calendar active all year long. Consequently, the number of elephants joining the delayed feast this month dropped from 26 to 14, because the rest of the magnificent animals don't have time to play - they have work to do.

    Bangkok Post


  2. #2
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    Anything to help the poor elephants here, they have mostly been out of work since logging was "officially ended" even though it stil goes on of course.

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