Laos, The 15th Elephant Festival, held in Xayaboury, will be held for only one day as part of a scaled-down event amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Elephant Festival, confirmed to take place next month in Xayaboury Province, will be held on 13 February, according to a report by Vientiane Times.
Deputy Provincial Governor of Xayaboury, Mr. Phetphixay Sounvilay, said in a statement on Sunday that the festival will have a maximum of 300 participants, and will be held without the usual market fair or entertainment venues. Attendance of the festival will be restricted to residents of Xayaboury Province only.
Those attending the festival must comply with government guidelines including temperature checks, face masks, and handwashing with soap or sanitizer before entering the festival grounds. Up to 18 domesticated elephants from Xayaboury District will participate in the festival, with activities including almsgiving, an elephant procession, and a buffet for the elephants. The Elephant Festival first took first place in 2007 in Hongsa District, Xayaboury Province, and last was held from 21-28 January 2020 with 70 elephants participating.