What do you serve at a buffet for monkeys?
When: Last Sunday of November.
Where: Lopburi, Thailand.
Twenty chefs from from some of Bangkok’s top hotels prepare two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, vegetables, ice cream, milk and jelly for over 1,000 very hairy and somewhat ill mannered guests. The town of Lopburi in Thailand celebrates its Monkey Festival every year laying out a lavish banquet for its local population of Macaque monkeys.
Buffet tables at the impressive San Pra Kan shrine literally groan with the weight of all the food as the hungry monkeys tuck in with great gusto, leaping from table to table snatching food and gulping down drinks like there’s no tomorrow!
The cheeky monkeys have the freedom of the town and often grab bags and food from unsuspecting passers-by, leaping out from buildings, scaling walls and generally wreaking havoc wherever they go. But nobody seems to mind. The locals say they bring good fortune and prosperity to the town (probably mostly in the form of the tourists who come to see their antics!). The feast is therefore a sort of “thank you” to the monkeys.
The annual feast is also in honor of Rama, the hero of the epic legend Ramayana (Rama’s Journey), who rewarded his good friend and ally, Hanuman the Monkey King, with the fiefdom of the town of Lopburi.