Cambodian Royal Ploughing Ceremony

Cambodian Culture / Sunday, May 17th, 2009

We just had a long holiday last week with the King’s birthday plus the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. This annual ceremony marks the start of the rainy season and the goal is to predict who abundant the harvest would be in the next year.

This tradition dates back to the 13th century and starts with the royal procession arriving in Phnom Penh. This ceremony is regarded as superstitious but is nonetheless taken seriously by some Khmers. Two sacred oxen pulls a wooden plough in the ceremonial ground and then they are given offerings. Whichever crop the oxens would choose to eat, it is believed that it will be abundant in yield.

This year the royal astrologer said the cow ate beans and corn, meaning both crops will enjoy good harvest. Here’s a video of the recently held Royal Ploughing Ceremony.

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