Fireworks explode over the Pha That Luang Square in Vientiane Dec. 2, 2015 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos. (Xinhua/Liu Ailun)
VIENTIANE, Dec. 3 (Xinhua)-- Fireworks have ended a day of celebration in the southeast Asian nation of Laos as the country concludes official and public commemorations for its National Day and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Democratic Republic.
From before dawn, representatives of the country's multi-ethnic society including civilian, military and political units from across the country's 17 provinces and professions prepared to parade upon the capital's That Luang Esplanade that lies in the shadow of the revered buddhist stupa of the same name.
Dawn rose on awaiting participants as they were joined by the country's leadership as well as foreign dignitaries, diplomats and invited guests including China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang.
The assembled listened on as Lao People's Revolutionary Party Secretary-General and Lao President Choummaly Sayasone addressed the gathering, flanked by prominent members of the country's leadership including Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, National Assembly President Pany Yathotou, deputy prime ministers, provincial governors and other high-ranking Party and government officials.
In his address, President Choummaly touched on the past, present and future of the republic entering its fifth decade at a time of growth in regional opportunity and complex global challenge.
Four decades in pursuit of the republic's goals of "peace, independence, democracy, unity & prosperity" were celebrated as military and public security, government ministries, civil mass organizations and representative of key sectors including education and health stood for the flag raising and national anthem.
These were also broadcast to key points in the city including the national victory monument Patouxay, a starting point for the civilian sector march toward the esplanade set to stirring broadcast versions of the country's own set of revolutionary and traditional tunes.
From the balcony of the National Assembly, the country's peak legislature and within sight of the country's monument to the unknown soldier, President Choummaly once again honored the nation's revolutionary fighters lost to conflict, for whom wreaths had been laid the previous day.
Celebrating the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), and the Spirit of Dec. 2, the president's calls drew cheers of "man yun," Lao for "long live."
The role of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party in the establishment of the republic was duly noted among the pageantry with flags of the Lao Nation and Party -- the white disc on a field of blue and red and the golden hammer and sickle on a field of red respectively -- featuring prominently in celebrations including in a helicopter flypast.
Formed in 1955 in the heady post World War II period at a time when the nation and region was in the midst of protracted efforts to overthrow colonialist and imperialist powers, the LPRP's founders and the leaders were destined to become the heads of government and state in the republic's original generation.
These, including party and republic founders presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, were duly honored along with past and senior office holders including 91-year-old former President Khamtay Siphandone.
The event was followed by the groundbreaking of the Laos-China Railway set to connect Laos' urban and rural centers such as Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, to Kunming in the Chinese province of Yunnan, as part of a regional rail link that will connect people and markets south of Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia.
In the afternoon, the country's leadership, guests and public enjoyed a medley of cultural performances including music, dance, acrobatics and magic held at Vientiane's National Stadium, constructed with the assistance of the People's Republic of China for the city's hosting of the 2009 South- East Asian Games, prior to the fireworks display concluding the festivities at That Luang.