Thailand’s great monkey feast

Having recently enjoyed a feast of my own (thanks, Thanksgiving), I felt a special kinship to the macaque monkeys of Lopburi, Thailand, when I heard about yesterday’s annual monkey feast.

Lopburi is about 90 miles from Bangkok (you can get there by bus or train). The city is famous for its ancient temples and its large population of long-tailed macaque monkeys. According to legend, the city itself was created with the help of Hanuman the Monkey King; hence all the monkeys. Many locals consider the feisty creatures the descendents of the Monkey King himself.

I love monkeys. And so I think I would love Lopburi. And I would definitely love to witness the biggest feast of the year, which takes place annually on the last Sunday of November. On this special day, about 9,000 pounds of food is put out in the city, and the monkeys of Lopburi gorge themselves silly. The event draws thousands of visitors to witness the carnage.

While the monkey feast is indeed a special day, the monkeys are the center of attention here all year round. So there’s no bad time to go to Lopburi. As you would expect from little primates, the macaques like to get up in everybody’s business, pulling on hair and plucking loose objects from people’s heads and clothing. It all reminds me of Caps for Sale, one of my favorite children’s books.

Photo: leadenhall via Flickr (CC)

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