A festival to showcase the traditional arts of Lao ethnic groups from around the country kicked off in Vientiane on November 12.

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, senior government officials and Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung attended the opening ceremony of the fifth National Ethnic Arts Festival.

Speaking at the event, a representative from the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism noted that the festival aims to preserve and uphold the culture and artistic traditions of Lao ethnic groups, which have been passed through generations.

It is also being held to celebrate the 38th Lao National Day (2 December), as well as contributing to the movement to protect, build and develop the country, while enhancing the solidarity and mutual understanding with international friends, he added.

Some 360 gorgeously costumed traditional musicians and dance troupes took part in the event, staging a host of sparkling performances imbued with Lao characteristics.-VNA