Where: Surin, Northeast Thailand When: Annually, mid November What Happens: Tug of war, elephant style Remember to Bring: Strength of a giant
Where's the party?
Surin, 300 miles northeast of Bangkok, where Thai elephants
come from and where they are trained.
What happens at the Elephant Round Up?
The annual event is a celebration of the extraordinary strength
of the elephant. As well as the impressive procession in which
scores of elephants take part, the festival also involves
elephant soccer and an unusual game of tug-of-war: one large
elephant pits his strength against 100 strong men.
What's the history of the festival?
Thailand prides itself on never having been conquered by another
country. The Royal family is supremely important, identifying
its unconquered strength with that of the elephant. The king
himself used to travel about the country in a convoy of elephants,
and even used to go to battle riding an elephant. Perhaps
the mere sight was enough to put off potential conquerors.