May 28, 2013
Cambodia on Tuesday observed the ancient royal plowing ceremony, a
ritual to mark the annual start of agricultural season in this Southeast
Asian nation, where about 80 percent of the population are farmers.
ceremony, held in Kampong Cham provincial town, was presided over by
King Norodom Sihamoni and attended by President of the National Assembly
Heng Samrin. Officials and representatives from the diplomatic corps
and several hundred spectators were also present.
At the event, royal oxen were used to plow and predict crop yields and weather in the year.
Sihamoni designated Lun Limthai, governor of Kampong Cham province, as
the King of the plowing ceremony and the governor's wife, Sun Nang as
the Queen of sowing ceremony.
The designated King plowed the rice
field by using royal oxen and the appointed Queen sowed seeds on the
furrow as the symbol of planting.
After three rounds of plowing
across the field, the oxen were offered 7 plates of food: rice, corn,
green beans, sesame, water, fresh-cut grass, and wine.
if the oxen eat a lot of the offered food, a bumper harvest is expected
in the year, but if they eat little, it is believed that the yields
will be low.
If the oxen eat grass and wine, it will be predicted
that cattle will be plagued by epidemics, and if they drink a lot of
water, plenty of water is expected.
At the event on Tuesday, the oxen ate only corn. A court soothsayer predicted that corn crops would give good yields this year.
is just the prediction based on the custom of the royal plowing
ceremony in the ancient time," Kang Keng, chief of the soothsayers at
the Royal Palace, said at the event. "This event is to announce that the
agricultural crop planting season has come. "
During the ceremony, there is also a one-day fair of agricultural products, which are made in the province.