The National Thai Elephant Day

The National Thai Elephant Day
The National Thai Elephant Day

On March 12, the Hasadin Foundation, Mr. Wanit (Ajarn Thong Fah) Henwongprasert, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation and the great supportor Mr. Tony Kelly, age 93, the first mahout in England, along with his family came celebrate his 93rd birthday and years of service at the foundation. Board volunteers and elephant lovers, both of Thai and foreign tourists, also joined the event. The foundation arranged a giant fruit cake party.

The cake consisted of various kinds of fruits that elephants like, such as bananas, pineapples, corn, watermelon, and apples, with a total weight of over 10 tons. The foundation also has 6 elephants that are 80- 95 years old, who are unable to work and the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation has been celebrated by the owners for taking care of the elephants. One elephant known as “Pang Songkran” is very intelligent and he used his trunk to spray water on the fruit cake to blow out the candles, which gave great satisfaction to the tourists. Later, the tourists joined together to feed the elephants and were photographed as a commemoration. The Hutsadin Elephant foundation was started by three local businessmen to rescue elephants abandoned by their owners due to ill health, old age or simply because they are unable to work any longer. The foundation is a nonprofit organisation and any funds received directly benefit the elephants.

Every year the foundation will organise a celebration for elephants living in the foundation on the Nation Thai Elephant Day. **Knowledge of Thai history** The elephants in Thailand have played an important part in Thailand’s history, the Thai elephant (Chang Thai) remains as an enduring symbol of Thailand. The elephant also has special spiritual significance with its association with Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. The white elephant (actually more pink in color) is a symbol of royalty in Thailand.

Elephants were so revered and respected, they were even on the Siamese flag until the early 1900s. Because white elephants were incredibly rare, they were only used for royal duties. Thai kings would offer white elephants as gifts to their rivals. One of these recorded events in Thai history is the personal battle between King Naresuan and Mingyt Swa, a highly romanticize historical scene known as the “Elephant Batt le.” “Naresuan the Great (Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat), was the 18th monarch of Ayutthaya Kingdom and 2nd monarch of the Sukhothai dynasty.

He was the king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1590 and overlord of Lan Na from 1602 until his death in 1605. Naresuan is one of Thailand’s most revered monarchs as he is known for his campaigns to free Ayutthaya from the vassalage of the Taungoo Empire”.