Meals were served to macaque monkeys on Sunday morning (27 Nov) at the annual Monkey Feast Festival, also known as the Monkey Banquet or Monkey Buffet Festival, in Lopburi city in Lopburi province.
Monkey statues holding trays were lined up in rows outside the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple while volunteers prepared mostly vegetarian meals for the monkeys from across the road.
Monkeys have traditionally symbolized the province, with many visitors from abroad arriving to observe the animals running and jumping around as they consumed the food provided for them.
In addition to providing entertainment, organizers noted that the festival helps promote the province’s tourism industry.
Yongyuth Kitwatanusont, the festival’s founder, said there were previously only around 300 monkeys in Lopburi but that their numbers have since ballooned to some 4,000. Lopburi is even known colloquially as Monkey City.
The monkeys are known to have adapted to city life and are not afraid of humans, often climbing on residents or even stealing whatever items or food they can find from unwary visitors. (NNT)