05/07/2019, 17.47
THAILAND
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White elephants also parade in Bangkok to honour the new king

About 500 keepers took part the ceremony in a show of loyalty to the monarch. Animals and handlers prostrated themselves for 19 seconds in front of a portrait of the king. For Thais, elephants have a special historical and cultural significance.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A day after coronation ceremonies ended, a majestic parade of 11 elephants painted in white paid tribute to King Maha Vajiralongkorn in the heart of Bangkok.

Outside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the elephants prostrated themselves before a portrait of the king, as a show of loyalty and best wishes to the monarch.

The animals came from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, which is now the capital of the homonymous province.

About 500 elephant keepers from the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace in Ayutthaya province and elsewhere joined the ceremony before the king to show their loyalty.

They paraded with the beautifully dressed elephants on Sanam Chai Road from the Territorial Defence Command to the Sawasdisopa Gate of the Grand Palace close to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha where the animals prostrated themselves for 19 seconds.

The event started at 9.09am and took about an hour to finish. Crowds thronged the area to watch.

Elephants have great historical and cultural value in Thailand symbolising the monarch, battles, as well as peace and serenity.

A non-toxic, water-based paint mixed with powder was used to create the appearance of a white elephant without harming the animals.

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