The elephant-back wedding occurs annually in Bangkok, where couples get married while sitting on the back of the embellished elephants. It’s a royal show with a huge procession of Elephants joined by dancers and band. Along with the couples who were riding the elephant, the local office was also on an elephant to oversee the signing of the marriage agreement.
This Valentine’s event is a popular one in Thailand and attracts around 100 couples in the mass wedding ceremony. However, due to the pandemic this year, the strength was low. The Valentine’s Day Elephant-back wedding ceremony was a great opportunity for couples who wanted to make their wedding an extraordinary event. The garden, which was already full of flowers and beautiful scenery made for a perfect wedding venue. The live music and guests added to the cheer of the newly married couples. This day is an auspicious day in Thailand as the Bride and Groom ride over the elephant-back to Pattaya and get their marriage licenses.
Elephant-Back Wedding Ritual is conducted Every Year in Nong Nooch Tropical Garden
The ceremony was held in a botanical garden in the eastern province of the capital ‘Bangkok’. The garden named ‘Nong Nooch Tropical Garden’, is in the Chonburi Province and this time there were strict protocols to ensure screening, and social distancing norms are followed. The president of the garden, ‘Kampon Tansacha’ told the media that they have kept their guards up and that is why the visitors feel safe to visit the landscaped gardens. The Botanical garden has visitors from around the globe.
Kampon also said that people of Thailand have a fear of the virus and when the outbreak occurred, they co-operated well. He said that during the second wave of coronavirus in the country, the visitors to the park dropped significantly, however, they were still open. Now the number of visitors has risen considerably. However, with the COVID situation, Thailand tourism which is yet to open up the country to international tourists is relying only on locals.
Couples Delight in the Elephant-Back Wedding
36-year old bride Duangsuree Tongsai told the media that it’s a special day for her and his partner Peter and it makes them even happier to be signing the marriage license on this day, sitting on the elephant’s back. The couples looked extremely excited at the event and were glad to make their special day so memorable. Many couples could be seen wearing masks while riding on the elephant-back and displaying their marriage licenses with glee. While the event is an annual occurrence in Thailand for many years, there are various critics who cite ‘animal cruelty’ in such events.
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