Surin Elephant Round-up

The Thai people love elephants. There is a popular belief stating that the shape of Thailand is similar to an elephant's head. Local Asian elephant is easily domesticated. It is used as a mean of transport or help in hauling of logs.

Surin is a small town located in the northeastern Thai province of I-San. It is 480 kilometres northeast of Bangkok. The people of this town have their own festival dedicated to elephants which is held on the third Saturday in November. It is known as the Elephant Round-up. The festival was first held in 1960. It lasts for two days. In 2014 the festival is organized on the 15th and 16th of November.

Surin Elephant Round-up
Surin Elephant Round-up

The Elephant Round-up includes numerous activities like elephant races, shows representing the strength of the elephants, historical presentations of battles involving elephants at the local Elephant stadium etc. There is a huge procession of some 300 elephants. The locals prepare large quantities of food for all the elephants. This is called the Elephant breakfast. After the animals are fed the people take the leftovers. One of the strangest festival events is the tug-of-war competition between the elephant and members of Thai army.