Elephants kneel in ritual tribute to Thailand's new king

Elephants are paraded outside the Grand Palace in honor of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn following his coronation ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Rapeephat Sitichailapa)
Handlers, known as Mahouts, lead a procession of 10 elephants to kneel outside the Grand Palace in honor of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn following his coronation ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Rapeephat Sitichailapa)

BANGKOK — Eleven white-painted elephants, their tusks garlanded, gathered with their handlers before Bangkok's Grand Palace on Tuesday to pay respects to Thailand's newly crowned king.

Hundreds of mahouts, or handlers, dressed in royal yellow sang the royal anthem and kneeled with their elephants before a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The ceremony followed a celebration a day earlier in which thousands of Thais watched and cheered as the king and his family waved from a palace balcony.

The elephants, which came from across the country, trumpeted at the end of the ceremony. They also posed for group photos.

"I am delighted for His Majesty that everyone shows their respect to him, even the elephants showed their respect for him. And they did it so well," said Phuraporn Gorgerd, one of those attending the event.

Thais consider white elephants a sacred symbol of royal power, and an elephant adorned the national flag until 1917. The elephants are not entirely white, and are sometimes painted to look lighter colored than their natural patchy color.

Vajiralongkorn took the throne after the 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades.

Must Read

Thailand hands out prenatal vitamins for Valentine's Day

Feb 14, 2017

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Thai government is handing out pills it calls "very magical...

Thai police raid temple belonging to Buddhist sect

Feb 17, 2017

Thai police have raided the head temple of a controversial Buddhist sect but failed to find and...

Amy Yang wins LPGA Thailand by five strokes

Feb 26, 2017

Amy Yang rarely wavered with a big lead during the final round of the Thailand LPGA tournament,...

Japan's emperor pays respects to Thailand's late king

Mar 5, 2017

Japanese Emperor Akihito has paid his respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, arriving...

Thai king endorses new military-backed constitution

Apr 6, 2017

Thailand's king has signed the country's new military-backed constitution, approving a charter that...

About Us

Thailand Tribunal is the country’s next generation of digital news portal, bringing you non-stop news on the happenings in the country and all over the world.

Contact us: sales[at]thailandtribunal.com