The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak began its Buon Don Ethnic Cultural Festival and the Elephant Race on March 12.
The festival, held in Buon Don district, will include a wide range of cultural activities, including a buffalo sacrifice ceremony and gong performance, which pray for bumper crops and prosperity.
Meanwhile, 18 elephants will show off their strength and skills in running, football and swimming games.
Visitors to the biennial event will also have a chance to enjoy performances of traditional music, costumes and cuisine along with touring the Yok Don National Forest and villages by elephants.
The festival, part of the “2014 Central Highlands - Da Lat Tourism Year”, will last until March 14.
Dak Lak province is dubbed as the home of tamed elephants. However, the number of the animals declined sharply from 502 in 1985 to 84 in 2000 and fewer than 60 in 2010.
In order to conserve its elephants, the province implemented a project worth 61 billion VND (3.1 million USD), under which a healthcare and research facility on elephant reproduction and conservation was established.