BANGKOK: A troupe of elephants bearing presents visited students in Thailand’s old capital of Ayutthaya on Friday (Dec 22) to spread Christmas cheer.

Four elephants, with their mahouts were dressed in Santa Claus suits, arrived at Ayutthaya’s Jirasartwitthaya School to hand out toys, balloons and snacks to delighted children.

“I’m so glad today because elephants are coming to school. And they are giving presents”, said nine-year-old Patcharamon Udomsanti.

This screengrab shows an elephant handing a toy to students at Ayutthaya’s Jirasartwitthaya School. (Image: Reuters)

The elephants also entertained the children with some dance moves, shaking their tails from side to side.

“It’s so nice that they can share our festival. We share it with them, and the Thai share their festivals with us like Songkran,” said Rita Laureys, a Belgian teaching English in Thailand, referring to the Thai new year.

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, with Christians making up only about 0.7 per cent of the population, nevertheless, many people enjoy Christmas festivities. 

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