Royal Ploughing Ceremony

Topics: Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Norodom Sihanouk Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: January 27, 2012
The Royal Plowing Ceremony
The Royal Plowing Ceremony is one of the most important annual royal traditional ceremonies, which is held at the open square of Veal Preah Merhu in front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh every year. This ceremony is deemed one of the marvelous blessings of the Cambodian people. Each king has led this celebration since ancient times. According to the tradition, the Royal Plowing ceremony is celebrated to predict the upcoming orn, bean, grass, sesame, water, wine. It is also celebrated to give a blessing to farming and to pray to God for sufficient seasonal rainfall, which is essential to encouraging all of the Cambodian farmers to produce a high crop yield. This year’s Royal Plowing Day was celebrated on May 21st, presided over by His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia. It was held in the Meru field (Viel Men), north of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. For this year, Keo Chanmony, a CPP Member of Parliament from Kampong Chhnang province, was appointed as Mehour, while Cambodian lawmaker, Say Chhum, acted as Sdech Meak. After finishing the symbolic plowing and throwing seeds of a portion of the field, a pair of sacred oxen were led to eat rice, corn, beans, sesame, grass, water and alcohol, which had been prepared on trays. It was seen that the sacred oxen ate corn, beans, and grass but shunned rice grain. The oxen’s choice of corn, beans, and grass led the Royal Palace’s chief astrologer Kang Keng to declare that this year’s corn and beans harvests will be bountiful. However, he warned that the eating of grass signaled that Cambodia’s livestock will suffer from some pandemic diseases. Any way, the astrologer did not spell out to the crowd what it meant for the rice yield, sparking concern among superstitious farmers. “I am very worried that we will not have a good paddy harvest,” farmer Ros Makara, 52, told AFP after the ceremony, “but I will try my best to grow...
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