SAYABOURY, 14 December 2016: The Elephant Festival 2017, in Sayaboury province, will run from 13 to 19 February.
Lao News Agency reported the official opening ceremony will be held, 17 February, with around 70 elephants joining activities during the festival.
The festival is the major event of the province and reminds visitors and residents that Laos once had a vast elephant population, according to the province deputy governor Yanhyong Sipasert.
In addition to entertainment and educating spectators about elephant welfare, the festival aims to raise awareness of these endangered animals and identify the need to protect elephants from abuse and neglect.
Activities will include elephant shows, parades, a beautiful elephant contest, shows depicting how elephants are trained, an elephant buffet, elephant bathing and an opportunity to ride elephants. Conservation groups frown on some of the activities identified in the programme.
Located in the northwest region of the country, the province borders Bokeo province and Oudomxai province to the north, Luang Prabang province and Vientiane province to the east.
Laos was once called Lao Lanexang, which means “Land of a million of elephants”.