BANGKOK (AP) — Christmas is not a holiday in predominantly Buddhist Thailand, and its palm trees outnumber pines, but the country still set a world record with its holiday spirit.
One of the country's largest shopping malls arranged a publicity stunt involving 852 schoolchildren dressed in green and red hoodies to break the Guinness World Record for the largest human Christmas tree. They outdid a German record of 672 participants 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 6- to 15-year-olds into a tree-like formation on the ground.
"I kind of thought we'd get to stand on each other's shoulders," said 13-year-old Nattakit Liewkulnattana. Like most participants at the event, he doesn't celebrate Christmas. He wasn't sure whose birthday the holiday marks ("Santa Claus?") but was excited to take part in a world record, and maybe get something in return.
"I want presents!" the teen said. All participants got to keep their hoodies.