Royal Ploughing Ceremony

A royal ox eats bowls of maize and grass during an annual Royal Plowing ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 11, 2005. Thailand’s royal soothsayer predicted heavy rains and plentiful crops for the country at the annual ceremony Wednesday, after two sacred oxen ate from symbolic bowls of maize and grass. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai royal oxen predict rainy, productive year
Wednesday May 11 2005

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Sacred Thai oxen predicted good fortunes for the coming year on Wednesday with abundant rains and healthy crops, a similar prediction to last year which saw one of the worst droughts in years.
The ancient ploughing ceremony in Buddhist Thailand, overseen by Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, marks the end of the dry season and is meant to herald an auspicious start for the rice-planting season in a region where many people still depend on agriculture.

In a ritual outside the gilded pagodas of Bangkok’s Grand Palace telecast live on television, the oxen ploughed a symbolic furrow in the dusty ground then tucked into grass and corn off banana-leaf platters, signifying a bountiful harvest and ample rains.

Offered a range of dishes, the Thai bulls steered clear of alcohol — which signifies trade and transport — but also turned up their noses at a plate of rice, the staple diet of the southeast Asian nation’s 63 million people.

In a related rite, the ploughing chief picked a costume that meant there would be a lot of water this year.

The prediction was similar to last year, but Thailand went on to face a prolonged drought which cut rice production by 11 percent and trimmed economic growth forecasts.

3 responses to “Royal Ploughing Ceremony

  1. Richard Smith

    Are these your pictures? If so, you have a talent for photography, Richard. I love your history lessons. Thank you.

  2. Exactly on the same day on 11th may 2002, Wednesday, a ceremonial ploughing festival is carried out in Orissa in India. This day is considered very auspicious to initiate cultivation before rains. I believe a similar festival takes place in Cambodia. The cultural similarities are very encouraging, the world is indeed a ssmall extended family

    Jashobanta

  3. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony in Cambodia held 2 week follow the Thai one,. its mean the Thai held on 4 (khoen) of 5th month (moon celender) and Cambodia help on 4 (rem) of 5th month,. I don’t know what that mean of different,. need to research more,. For pictures of the Ceremony in Cambodia you can go to this website: http://www.royalploughingceremony2005.tk

    Thanks