Thailand: couples tie the knot on elephants on Valentine's Day hinh anh 1A couple rides an elephant during a Valentine's Day celebration at the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Chon Buri on February 14. (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Fifty-two couples got married while riding elephants on February 14, in an annual Valentine's Day mass wedding ceremony at a botanical garden in the eastern Thai province of Chon Buri.

Dancers and a band led the procession of elephants and couples and a local official, also on an elephant, oversaw the signing of the marriage licences.

"For me, I've been planning for a long time that if I were to sign a marriage licence one day, it must be an extraordinary event," groom Patiphat Panthanon, 26, sitting beside his 23-year-old bride, was cited by Bangkok Post as saying.

The elephant-back wedding is an annual event at the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden which usually attracts up to a hundred couples. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the numbers were down.

Kampon Tansacha, the venue’s managing director, said that due to strict screening protocols for visitors, people were feeling safer and have started to come back to visit the botanical park, which showcases re-creations of landscaped gardens from around the world.

The tourism-reliant country has yet to lift a travel ban imposed last April to curb the outbreak, keeping most foreign investors away./.