Christmas is not a holiday in predominantly Buddhist Thailand, but that didn’t stop hundreds of schoolchildren getting into the festive spirit with a world record-breaking effort.
One of the country’s largest shopping malls arranged for 852 schoolchildren dressed in green, red and brown hoodies to break the Guinness World Record for the largest human Christmas tree – easily beating the previous record of 672 set in Germany in 2011.
To the relief of parents, and the chagrin of a few teenagers, the children were not hoisted onto a human pyramid shaped like a conifer.
It was more an exercise in crowd control, grouping the assembled six to 15-year-olds into a tree-like formation on the ground.
The record was set in 15 minutes, 29 seconds.
Guinness representative Fortuna Burke certified the feat, counting on a clicker as children filed onto an outdoor verandah at Siam Paragon mall, the event’s organiser.
Once in place, the children waved as a drone flew overhead to capture aerial images.
Although Christmas does not appear on Thai calendars and is a regular workday, hotels and shopping malls decorate starting in mid-November for what is a big shopping season during Thailand’s peak tourism months.
© The Associated Press, 2013