BANGKOK – Thai elephants dressed as Santas from Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal visited schoolchildren to hand out gifts on Monday.
Students at Ayutthaya’s Jirasat Wittaya School, some of whom were also dressed in Santa outfits, crowded around the four elephants who handed out presents such as teddy bears with their trunks.
Masked Khon dancers also joined in the Christmas Eve festivities.
The colorful elephant visit is an annual event in the historic city and former capital located about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is popular with tourists for its ruins, temples and monasteries and sits on an island between three rivers.
Over 94 percent of Thailand’s population is Buddhist, with Christianity making up just over 1 percent.
However, some Thais have adopted parts of the tradition and the high-end malls of capital Bangkok are known for their extravagant displays and decorations throughout the season.