A monkey enjoys a snack during the Monkey Buffet Festival. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang
REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

While Americans were gathered over Thanksgiving dinner, 20 of Thailand’s top chefs were busily preparing two tons of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, vegetables, ice cream, milk and jelly for 2,000 rowdy guests. Heck, even the cops were called in.

The province of Lopburi in Thailand celebrated its annual Monkey Buffet Festival over the weekend, laying out a lavish banquet for the more than 2,000 macaques to roam freely through the feast.

Locals believe that providing food for Lopburi’s most famous residents brings good fortune and prosperity. The feast is also a “thank you” of sort for the monkeys whose antics attract thousands of tourists to the town each year.

“This is very exciting because I’ve never done this before,” said veteran chef Wuttichart Muadsri. “I’ve only ever served people in a hotel.”

Buffet tables were loaded down with the feast, which cost more than $15,000.  The elaborate menu included a pricey variety of the pungent durian fruit, which the monkeys ate with gusto.

“There are more than 20 kinds of fruit, but the highlight today for the monkeys is definitely the durian. And not the cheap durian,” said hotel owner and businessman Yongyuth Kitwatananusont, the event’s main organizer.

The monkeys enjoy their freedom, climbing around and darting into open doorways and grabbing bags, wallets and food from unsuspecting people. Which is to say, the Monkey Festival isn’t all too different from many holiday parties in the west. – Global Animal

Monkey Festival Thailand
Monkeys enjoy fruits and vegetables during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival, in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province, 150 km (94 miles) north of Bangkok, November 25, 2007. The annual festival provides various types of food and drink to the local monkey population, which numbers more than 2,000.
A monkey licks a block of ice with fruits and vegetables during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival, in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province, 150 km (94 miles) north of Bangkok,
A monkey licks a block of ice with fruits and vegetables during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival, in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province, 150 km (94 miles) north of Bangkok. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang.
Chefs prepare fruits and vegetables during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival in front of Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province, 150 km (94 miles) north of Bangkok, November 25, 2007.The annual festival provides various types of food and drink to the local monkey population, which numbers more than 2,000.
Chefs prepare fruits and vegetables during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival in front of Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province, 150 km (94 miles) north of Bangkok. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang.
A monkey licks block of ice with fruits and vegetables during the Monkey Buffet Festival
Thailand
A monkey enjoys a snack during the Monkey Buffet Festival. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang
Thailand
A Thai police officer talks on a walkie-talkie during the Monkey Buffet Festival
Monkey Buffet

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