Elephants are fantastic animals. These banana loving creatures are massive in size, which makes them quite intimidating for us humans; but we should not be intimidated. We should, instead, try to value these creatures for the lovely beings they are, especially that they are capable of feeling joy, anger, grief, love, compassion, and altruism. More than that, they are able to form emotional attachments towards their family members in a way that is very similar to our own, something which has been proven through research. Therefore, given that we have so much in common, we should try to bond with these creatures in a way that is beneficial for us and them, provided that we do so within the appropriate limits.
People have understood this for quite some time now — ages to be exact. Many cultures, throughout time, respected elephants and made them the subject of many depictions. Moreover, different cultures use elephants to symbolize a variety of things. In Thailand, for example, elephants are admired for their intelligence, good memory, and pleasant nature. These creatures have been revered for centuries by the people of Thailand and were considered a royal symbol; more than that, Thai people considered them important in battle with many kings mounting on top of them to defend Thailand against different foes on many occasions.
On a side note, the elephant was used in the first official flag of Thailand. In 1855, king Mongkut created the flag, which showed a white elephant on a red background. This flag remained in use until 1917, when it was changed to the current one that shows five horizontal stripes; the middle stripe being blue, and the rest of the stripes being variants of the colors white and red. Currently, the white elephant is used in the flag of the Royal Thai navy.
Notes aside, all the reverence and respect the people of Thailand allotted to these creatures did not fade with time. In Thailand, nowadays, a day from each year is dedicated to the elephant: National Thai Elephant Day. In 1998, the Asian Elephant Foundation of Thailand and other non-governmental organizations proposed the idea of a day dedicated entirely for elephants. The idea was accepted, and the Coordination Committee picked March 13 from each year as the date for this event. The choosing of this specific day is very symbolic, in fact; on 13 March 1963, the white elephant was designated as the national animal of Thailand. The decision was approved on XX May 1998, and the first official National Thai Elephant Day was held on March 13 of the following year.
On this day, elephant parks and zoos, throughout the country, hold a variety of activities. Buffet food for elephants, traditional blessing ceremonies, and special elephant shows are few examples of these activities. For example, some parks like to spoil their elephants, treating them to huge amounts of bananas and sugar cane. More than that, some Buddhist ceremonies are held in order to bring good luck to the elephant and its handler: mahout.
The main point behind National Thai Elephant Day is to show the magnitude of respect Thai people have for elephants and how significant these animals are to their culture. Moreover, Thai people try to show how firm their relationship is with their national animal and promote awareness in people’s minds about the importance of this animal, so as to protect and preserve it.
Therefore, if you find National Thai Elephant Day interesting enough and would love to show respect for these animals by participating in this special event, then planning a visit around this time of year is the ultimate way to do that. To make sure that you would not miss the day, use our flight and hotel search tool: It will help you find cheap flights and accommodations for your visit to Thailand around the time of National Thai Elephant Day.
If you plan to visit any of the following cities, these links will help you find the best hotel deals withing those destinations:
However, if none of these cities corresponds with your city of choice in Thailand, please feel free to follow this link. It will help you find what you want.