BANGKOK – Hundreds of Thai schoolchildren on Tuesday clustered into the shape of the word “Siam”, the former name of the Southeast Asian country, as they broke the world record for the largest gathering of Christmas elves.
As many as 1,792 of Santa’s little helpers, aged between nine and 15, donned red, green and white hats, matching T-shirts and pointy plastic elf ears, as they formed up outside a shopping mall in Bangkok, the Thai capital.
They held their position for five minutes before being declared Guinness World Records winners.
“It’s going to be hard for the next country to break this record,” said Guinness World Records representative Richard Stenning, who attended the event.
Fourteen children were disqualified for not putting on their elf ears. Participants cheered when five minutes had elapsed, and received certificates to show they had taken part.
The previous record was 1,110 Santa’s elves, set in 2013 in Wetherby in Britain.
“I’m happy to have helped break the world record and steal the title from England,” said a disabled child, Theerathep Noonkao, 11, who joined the event in his wheelchair.
Although Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, the commercial aspect of the Christian holiday is widely exploited, with shops and hotels putting up tinsel and Christmas trees during the festive season.
By Jutarat Skulpichetrat and Amy Sawitta Lefevre