Monkey Buffet Festival: The Most Amazing Festival of Thailand
Oct 19, 2018
Human beings are descendants of apes, and the people in a small town in Thailand acknowledge this fact in a rather interesting way. Here, macaques are considered to bring good fortune to the townspeople. Therefore, are celebrated on a grand scale by hosting the 'Monkey Buffet Festival'.
Lopburi, a town in Lopburi Province, Thailand, with a small population of mere 26,500 (as of 2006), is unique in itself as it hosts one of the weirdest festivals celebrated around the world - the Monkey Buffet Festival.
A buffet not for Homo Sapiens but for Macaca Fascicularis! Monkeys from all over the town dine in a big temple arena and have a Bon Appetit! People here have a special love for monkeys and so, without much of religious customs and rituals behind this celebration, they just display their love for the monkeys by offering them food through this grand buffet.
When and for Whom?
- The Monkey Buffet Festival is a celebration that takes place in the last week of November, at the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, in the small town of Lopburi, north of the nation's capital Bangkok.
- It has been held since 1989, offering food to more than 3000 monkeys on a grand scale every year.
- The locals believes that monkey's bring good fortune to the town's residents.
- The monkey feast was a concept of a hotelier, Yongyuth Kitwattananusont, who first hosted the fest for the monkeys in 1989.
- Now, with the sponsorship of Thailand's Tourism Authority, this spectacle attracts thousands of tourists.
Why Is It Held?
- In Thailand, according to the local mythology, King Rama gave a piece of land, known as Lopburi, to Hanuman who was the Monkey King. This festival is held as a sign of gratitude and thanksgiving.
- Lopburi has a large population of crab-eating monkeys, which can be found everywhere in the town.
- You might think that these macaques are strictly carnivorous, but you will be surprised to know that they dwell on a vegetarian diet as well, pretty convenient!
A large buffet of food includes: - Desserts - Candies - Cakes - Fruits - Vegetables - Sodas (Yes! You can watch them really having drinks directly from the cans)
- The festival also includes music, dance, and other activities along with the buffet, with young people dressed like monkeys expressing their gratitude towards the local macaques for bringing good luck.
- Once Yongyuth Kitwattananusont stuffed himself into a monkey suit and arrived via parachute. In November 1999, he promised to increase the previous year's offering which was around 4,000 kilograms of food.
- A longstanding second-tier tourist draw, Lopburi is the site of 10th century Hindu temples built by the Khmer dynasty.
- The main temple, strongly resembles the architecture of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, and is a headquarter for the macaques.
- In the past few years, the monkeys have consumed over four tons of food!
Hope you enjoyed this small, informative, and interesting monkey ride!