White-painted elephants march and bow outside Bangkok’s palace in a majestic tribute to Thailand’s new king after three-day coronation ceremony
- Eleven elephants walked a ten-step jig to mark the 10th monarch of the dynasty
- The ceremony comes a day after the coronation of King Maya Varjiralongkorn
- The animals wore yellow silk shawls and saffron flower garlands for the parade
This is the moment elephants and their handlers paid homage to Thailand’s new king today.
Elephants dressed in yellow silk shawls and saffron flower garlands performed a 10-step jig to symbolise the 10th reign of the Chakri dynasty in Bangkok.
Footage filmed in the city’s historic old quarter captured eleven elephants walking to the beat of a drum in a dramatic parade to celebrate the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Elephants dressed in yellow silk shawls and saffron flower garlands perform a ten-step jig to symbolise the 10th reign of the Chakri dynasty in Bangkok today
A day after the monarch’s three-day coronation ceremony the white-painted elephants were brought to the city by their trainers – known as mahouts.
One of the women seated on the elephants even had her baby with her – proving how safe and well trained the animals are.
The ritual-laden coronation ended on Monday with the newly crowned 66-year-old king granting Thais a public audience from a balcony of the Grand Palace.
The animals were covered in non-toxic, water-based white paint to give them a paler hue.
The animals bow down to show reverence for their new king. The elephants deemed worthy had received special ‘royal training’ for Tuesday’s performance, he said
A day after the monarch’s three-day coronation ceremony the white painted elephants are brought to the city by their trainers – known as mahouts
Mahouts train the elephants to raise their trunks and lift one foot off the ground during the jig
Mahout Reangthongbaht Meepon of Ayutthaya Elephant Palace, said: ‘The elephants knelt down to bow and roared, as if to say “long live the King” in the elephant language.’
The elephants deemed worthy had received special ‘royal training’ for Tuesday’s performance, he said.
‘We got the training methods from the royal palace to train elephants according to ancient traditions,’ he added.
Many among the crowd of enthusiastic onlookers hold portraits of the new king
Many among the crowd of enthusiastic onlookers held portraits of the king.
‘I’m delighted because I’ve never seen this before in my 70 years,’ said motorcycle taxi driver Boonsueb Unnimit.
Elephants hold special significance in Thai history and culture.
‘The elephant is a symbol of the monarch, a symbol of battles, as well as a symbol of peace and serenity,’ said Bangkok resident Panarat Panchuer, 61.
The three-day coronation ceremony, rich with pageantry, was the first in Thailand in 69 years, coming after the death of Vajiralongkorn’s beloved father in October 2016.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida wave to well-wishers from the balcony of Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall of the Grand Palace as they grant a public audience on the final day of his royal coronation
It started on Saturday, after a long period of official mourning.
The tradition began by anointing the king with sacred waters before he donned a tiered golden headpiece weighing more than seven kilograms (16 pounds).
The second day of ceremonies saw the king carried on a gilded palanquin for several hours under a searing sun, before capping the coronation on day three with his public address.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn being carried on a palanquin through the streets outside the Grand Palace yesterday
Thailand’s newly crowned King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida are seen at the balcony at the Grand Palace where the king grants a public audience to receive the good wishes of the people in Bangkok