History of the Elephant Festival
While explaining a Buddhist philosophy Buddha cited the example of a wild elephant, which is tied to a harness for domestication. He used this example to explain that a new monk is required to have a good relation with the older monks in order to comprehend the Buddhist philosophies properly. The older monks also need to interact with the younger ones and help them in understanding the doctrines of Buddhism and also learn newer things from them. The Elephant festival in a way celebrates the exchange of knowledge.
Celebration of the Elephant Festival
As far as the celebration is concerned it is observed in a grand way. As many as 200 elephants are arranged for and the mammoth creatures perform several tricks to entertain the crowd. Such a festival draws a large number of crowds. Even foreigners visit Thailand to witness this grand affair. The natives come to the festival to pay tribute to elephants. After the performance by the animals the show is wound up by folk dances and other cultural programmes.
The elephants are made to star in displays of old-time elephant hunts. Demonstrations of intelligence, strength and gentility and the wonderful re-enactment of a war elephant parade also forms part of the two days festival. Another interesting part of the festival is the sporting activities. There is a tug of war between an elephant and some seventy powerful members of the Royal Thai Army; sprints which display the agility of the animal and a soccer match in which the animal picks up small objects like a matchbox with its trunks and then follows commands given to it. In brief, the Elephant festival displays the zenith of excitement and enthusiasm.
The Elephant festival continues for two days and is one of the most vibrant Buddhist festivals.
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