Tourism Authority of Thailand
License Number: 11/2802
The most popular of Northeastern festivals with foreign tourists is the Surin Elephant Round-up which is held annually in November. The people of Surin have long been renowned for their skill in capturing and training wild elephants and the round-up.
Last Modified On: Wednesday, 27/June/2007 03:58:26am
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The greatest event of the Surin round-up is a beautifully organized display of the talents and abilities of these superb beasts. It begins with a mass procession of all the elephants taking part, usually 120-150, ranging from calves only a few weeks old to the well-trained elephants with many decades of experience.
During the show, hundreds of the huge animals demonstrate their prowess at moving logs, playing soccer and winning a tug-of-war against human teams. Other demonstrations are designed to show not only the great strength of the elephants but also show they can be very intelligent, gentle and obedient. The show concludes with a mock battle illustrating what was formerly an important part of their duties.
The round-up in those days was an annual state ceremony presided over by the king himself. There were prayers and citations devised for the ceremony and for the taming of captured elephants afterwards. In recent times, the event has been revived and has become a major tourist attraction for the country, with the province of Surin as the main centre of activities. The event draws more and more visitors each year.
The event is the occasion for great fun in which the visitor is welcome to join. It also offers superb opportunities for learning about the distinct folk culture of the Northeast.
November 17 - 18, 2007: Srinarong Stadium, Surin Province