Laos’ Elephant Festival. (Photo: www.laostourism.org)
 
Vientiane (VNA) – Laos’ Elephant Festival 2017 will run from February 13 to 19 in the northwestern province of Xayaboury with an official ceremony held on February 17, according to the Lao News Agency (KPL).

Almost 70 elephants are expected to join activities during the festival.

Yanhyong Sipasert, Deputy Governor of Xayaboury province, who is also in charge of organising the Elephant Festival, said that the festival is one of the major events of the province and represents past times when the elephant population included countless numbers of elephants.  As a result, Laos was then known as the Land of a Million Elephants.

Elephant stories have been blended into the culture and livelihoods of Lao people from time immemorial.

The Elephant Festival has been held for almost 10 years. In addition to entertaining and educating spectators about elephants, the festival aims to raise awareness of these endangered animals and calls for their protection within Laos and around the world. The elephant holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the locals, which comes out in full form at this event.

This year’s Elephant Festival will feature more activities than last year including domesticated elephant shows, elephant parades, a beautiful elephant contest, shows about how elephants are trained, an elephant buffet featuring several types of elephants’ favourite foods, elephant bathing, elephants riding and many others.

Taking place alongside the festival, a trade fair will be organised featuring both domestic and foreign products, such as agricultural products, and a traditional food tasting event.

This year’s Elephant Festival will also feature cultural performances by ethnic people in the province, a show by the National Art Troupe, and a music performance.-VNA