Nepali festival features elephant football

The annual Chitwan Elephant Festival in Nepal always brings large crowds to honor South Asia’s favorite animal. This year, as this funny video shows, visitors were treated to a football match between two teams of elephants.

That’s football in the Nepali sense, meaning soccer, not American football. Thankfully the elephants weren’t tackling each other.

The festival has been going on for six years now and is sponsored by the government as a way of promoting tourism. Nope, it’s not an age-old cultural treasure like Kumbh Mela, but it’s still pretty fun. Chitwan is in southern Nepal and its main tourist attraction is Royal Chitwan National Park, home to many elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife, as you can see in this photo.

Other events included a race, with local champions beating rivals from as far away as Slovakia. Here’s a video of that event.