Thailand/National Elephant Day
Thai government declared ‘Thai National Elephant Day’ or ‘Chang Thai Day’ (Thai: วันช้างไทย) on 26th May 1998 and it was set to be celebrated on the 13th of March every year, The reason that the Thai government choose this day to be Thai National Elephant Day is because this day was the day that the white elephant was added to the old version of the Thai flag.
Thai people and elephants have had a long relationship since ancient times. Elephants are the Thai national animal because they have had many significant roles, for instance, transportation, labor, and even in war. Thus, elephants are very important to Thailand, but they may go extinct because of many factors such as habitat invasion by humans and climate change. The number of Thai elephants has been reduced from 100,000 to 2000 – 3000 during the past 100 years.
There are three aims for Chang Thai day. The first point is to show how significant elephants are to Thailand. The second point is to show the firm connection between Thai people and elephants. Lastly, this event also promotes awareness in people’s minds to protect and conserve the Thai elephant population.
To raise the people’s awareness, activities for elephants have been set up and people can come to join in them too. The activities include buffet food for elephants, a traditional blessing ceremony, and a special elephant show. The organizers of these activities are usually organized by Chiang Mai University and Mae Sa Elephant Camp.
- Thai Elephant Day Celebration today, 2014, Thai PBS [Online],
Available: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/thai-elephant-day-celebration-today/ [September 12, 2014].
- Thailand Celebrates National Elephant Day, 2014, NBC News [Online],
Available: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/photo/thailand-celebrates-national-elephant-day-n52441 [September 12, 2014].
- Thailand's Elephant, October 5, 2014, Thai Elephant Conservation Center [Online] ,
Available: http://www.thailandelephant.org/en/thaielephant.html [October 9, 2014].
- The National Thai Elephant Day, 2013, Elephant Research and Education Center [Online],
Available: http://www.asianelephantresearch.com/news-events.php?news=11 [September 12, 2014].
- วันช้างไทย, 2014, TLC การศึกษาไทย [Online],
Available: http://www.tlcthai.com/education/history-of-thailand/4437.html [September 12, 2014].