This parade took place on the morning of the 2nd of March 2008, but there is a procession like this one every year on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of Luang Prabang’s inscription on the World heritage list.
Some domestic elephants were gathered in the centre of Luang Prabang to be the centre of an event organised by the town. After the traditional Thak Bat (the ceremony of offerings to the bonzes of the pagodas), the procession gets ready to start the parade around 8 o’clock. On that morning, Laotians and visitors were crowded on the pavements earlier than usual.
Hundreds of participants, organised by association or by ethnical groups opened the ball which is closed by the elephants, clothed for the event in special festive clothes : local weaving, the Lao flag.
The elephant drivers will have great difficulty in controlling these huge animals, because of the number of bananas and sugar cane given to them by the crowds. Its a very difficult job to control a tribe of elephants in the middle of a happy crowd, when they are not used to being so close to humans.
An hour later, everybody arrives at the Xieng Thong Pagoda, at the end of the peninsular, to listen to the long official speeches, proud to show the golden medal commissioned by UNESCO, for the 3rd consecutive time.