Elephants are a significant animal in Thai culture and are an inseparable part of Thailand, so it is not surprising that the locals observe a day dedicated to elephants.
If you are traveling in Thailand in March, you will be happy to hear that this month locals mark National Elephant Day (13.3) to give elephants the respect they deserve. It was King Rama II who took it into practice. In August, the International Elephant Day, which is celebrated from 2012 until today, is held to raise awareness among many people and to help protect the elephant population in the world (elephant hunting is used for ivory trade).
The elephant in Thai culture
Among the characteristics of Thai culture, elephant has a place of honor, as it is the official national symbol of Thailand. There are quite a few legends that pass from generation to generation in the Thai tradition of the elephant. Also, the gods in Thai mythology were related in one way or another to elephants, such as “Aravan”, an elephant that served as the transportation tool of the rain god (temple of the god is in Bangkok) and “Ganesh” to the elephant-headed god. It is therefore not surprising that this is an important and significant animal for the locals. It is important to note that the Thais are Buddhists, and in Buddhism the elephant is a unique and dignified symbol (there is also a legend that in one of his incarnations, Buddha was a white elephant).
For many years the image of the elephant has appeared on a wide variety of elements, including the national flag of Thailand. Moreover, he appears in Thai poetry and literature as well as in various works of art, probably because the elephant is a symbol of wisdom and strength for the locals. By the way, in Thailand there are several metaphors and proverbs related to elephants, such as “cover the dead elephant,” because it is a concealment of crime or sin.
A visit to the markets in Thailand will expose you to quite a few elements, sculptures and items in the form of the elephant, and in fact quite a few elephant souvenirs are sold every year. In addition, many tourists participate in elephant tours in Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai, as this is a particularly popular element. Although tourists are increasingly interested in tourism, today, tourists are increasingly aware of the attitude toward animals, so many choose to enjoy this enchanted animal in other ways and visit elephant rehab farms, while helping locals treat animals, treat them well and enjoy the experience.
Some facts to know about elephants:
- Elephants can communicate between them, and they do so through the growls that humans can not hear.
- The elephant’s pregnancy takes about two years, and the baby elephant weighs about 100 kilograms.
- Elephants are sensitive to the environment and they even understand the meaning of death.
- The elephants are vegetarian and must eat at least 200 kg of vegetables daily.
Elephants in Thailand
There are quite a few tours and tours in Thailand for families, with some of the top attractions meeting the tourists and the elephants. North Thailand is usually the place to get to know the elephants, whether on a jeep trip or on a visit to various farms and reserves. For example, the Elephant Reserve (about an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai) is a great place to take care of these animals and is concerned about their return to nature. The tourists who come to the reserve can wash the elephants, feed them and more. Another place within driving distance of Chiang Mai is the Petra Farm, which has been established to assist and restore elephants rescued from the circus world. Incidentally, the entrance fee to the farm is used to donate to the elephants and to continue the activities and activities for their rehabilitation. It should be noted that there are other reserves and farms throughout Thailand, where you can get to know the way of life of the elephants closely.
The elephant is a significant animal in Thailand, so during the trip, it is recommended to incorporate attractions that include encounters with elephants, especially the National Elephant Day, which is a great experience for both children and adults.