Solemn Thai Elephant Day at Banglamung graveyard

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While elephants feasted on fruit buffets and were feted for their prominent role in Thai history on Thai Elephant Day, the Eastern Seaboard’s only graveyard for pachyderms was solemnly quiet March 13.

The graveyard located on the grounds of Banglamung Temple did not organize any activities on the day established to celebrate jumbos who have become a symbol of the kingdom. It is a popular tourist attraction, one ascribed as being the location where King Taksin the Great gathered his troops, elephants, cows and buffaloes to battle Burmese invaders.

The Eastern Seaboard’s only graveyard for pachyderms was solemnly quiet on National Elephant Day, March 13.

On this day, however, it was quiet, with only a few visitors from the provinces making merit there.

The graveyard most recently accepted the bones of 50-year-old Samruay, who fell ill and died at the Sanctuary of Truth in Naklua. On Jan. 29, the bones of nine jumbos buried for 10 years were dug up for an exhibition from at the three-rai site.

The bones are protected by a metal fence and secured, but there were no elephants owners coming to make merit for their beasts on such a special elephant day.

A mother teachers her child about elephants.  Perhaps she’s too young to understand, but someday she will.

Papatsanat Pinjai, 55, a local noodle vendor, said January’s event was a major merit-making ceremony with more than 100 monks participating. It was crowded with residents and visitors.

The bones of nine jumbos buried for 10 years have been dug up and put on exhibition.