March 13 – Thailand Elephant Day

Posted on March 13, 2015

Today the people of Thailand celebrate their national animal and raise awareness of the endangered status of Asian elephants.

Above is the current flag
of Thailand. Below are some
other (and older) versions.
Why March 13? This is the anniversary of the day that the white elephant was chosen to be the national animal, and that a white elephant was added to an older version of the Thai flag.

In some places in Thailand, Elephant Day will be celebrated with special buffet luncheons for elephants, traditional blessing ceremonies, and even elephant shows.

The people of Thailand have been utilizing elephants as transport, in work, and in battle—and they have been doing so for thousands of years. Despite the fact that the Thai people, to some extent, depend on elephants as well as celebrate them, the elephant population has plummeted in the past century. Apparently the main two factors are loss of habitat because of human activities and climate changes.

So...what does “plummeted” mean, exactly? According to Wikipedia, there used to be around 100,000 elephants in Thailand, but now there are only 2,000 to 3,000 wild elephants as well as about 2,700 domesticated elephants. 

At the elephant feasts, there are special treats such as watermelons and pineapples as well as daily staples such as sugar cane and bananas. Normally, a Thai elephant eats around six tons of grass, bananas, and sugar cane every day.

Also on this date:

Donald Duck's birthday 

Look Up at the Night Sky Day

Scientist Joseph Priestly's birthday (he “discovered” oxygen!) 

Plan ahead:

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