Annual Celebration Marks 21 Years of King Fa Ngum’s Statue

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King Fa Ngum Statue (Photo: Tripadvisor)

The statue of King Fa Ngum not far from the Mekong River in Vientiane continues to cast its gaze over the land it once ruled. Erected in 2003, the statue celebrated its 21st year on 5 January.

Born in 1316 in Xieng Dong Xieng Thong, the modern-day city of Luang Prabang, King Fa Ngum emerged as a leader in 1349. His mission was clear—to unite scattered villages and establish the independent Kingdom of Lan Xang, translating to the “Million Elephants.” The vision of a unified Laos began to take shape under his rule.  

At the age of 37, in 1353, King Fa Ngum ascended to the throne, officially becoming the King of Lao Lan Xang. The man, whose full name was “Somdetch Brhat-Anya Fa Ladhuraniya Sri Sadhana Kanayudha Maharaja Brhat Rajadharana Sri Chudhana Negara,” is believed to be the founder of the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang (million elephants) in 1353.

King Fa Ngum’s dedication and leadership left an indelible mark on Laos, shaping its history and identity for generations to come.

To honor this historical figure, the Lao government embarked on a monumental project in 2000—to cast a bronze statue of King Fa Ngum. The process culminated in a ceremony on 5 January 2003, where the statue was unveiled.

Annually, on this significant date, the nation unites to celebrate the lasting legacy and merits of King Fa Ngum, recognizing his key role in shaping Laos’ history and identity.