Royal Ploughing ceremony held to mark new rice-growing season

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BANGKOK, May 15 (TNA) - The ancient Brahmin Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held in Bangkok Monday to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn arrived at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground Monday morning to preside over the annual ritual held at the start of rainy season to boost the morale of farmers.

Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary Lertviroj Kowatana performed as the Lord of the Royal Ploughing or Phraya Raek Na. He let the pair of royal oxen ploughing the ceremonial field.

The oxen ploughed the soil for nine times before being given foods and drinks: rice, maize, bean, sesame seeds, liquor, water and grass.

What they choose to eat are interpreted into prediction of rice harvest of that year.

Since the oxen ate grass, water and liquor, it is predicted that paddy fields will have sufficient water and yield good crops, while foreign trade will flourish.
To predict the amount of rainfall, the Phraya Raek Na was given three choices of cloth in different lengths.

He drew the middle length, indicating there will be sufficient water for farming in lowland while it will be low in the highland.

Hundreds of farmers attended the ritual and collected rice grains used in the ceremony which are considered sacred.

The Royal Ploughing Day is also the National Agriculturalist Day. (TNA)