Elephants Spray People With Water For Thai New Year

Footage shows elephants spraying people with water to mark the Thai songkran New Year celebrations.

The animals were decorated with colourful flowers and patterns to entertain holidaymakers and locals gathered at the Ayutthaya Palace near capital Bangkok this afternoon.

Annual celebrations culminate of Friday through to Sunday with the population embarking on its traditional mass water fight.

But the large elephants started the party early by dousing people with water from their trunks as temperatures reached 35c.

Mahout Tavakorn Udon said: ”The elephants have a lot of fun. They really enjoy taking part and playing. They’re the stars. They like spraying water on people.”

Despite the jovial atmosphere, the country’s government have this year warned revellers to tone down the celebrations – with shops in popular tourist area Khao San Road being urged to stop selling alcohol.

Locals are also being encouraged to wear traditional 18th century dress in a show of national pride and a display of conservative cultural values.

Deputy Governor Thaweesak Lertpraphan launched the campaign ”Bangkok Songkran: Safe, Alcohol Free, No Molesting, No Bad Driving”.

He also urged women to cover up in order to avoid being groped by men who can be encouraged by women in wet t-shirts.

Lertpraphan reminded people to drive safely, as there are often a large number of accidents on the road.

He said: ”We want everybody to have a safe and happy new year but people must follow the rules and not break the law. If people behave well, it will be a good time for everyone.”