The Cambodia’s annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony “Preah Reach Pithi Chrot Preah Neangkol” was held at Mehru Square, the North of the Royal Palace on May 9th, 2012 (4th Roch, Month of Visak, Lunar Calendar).
The Royal Ploughing Day is an ancient royal rite to welcome the beginning of the growing season and determine the destiny of the harvest for the year.
A ceremony was held to foresee the year's harvest. A representative of King Norodom Sihamoni ploughs a symbolic field. Then two oxen are presented with bowls of food. Their choice of food will determine if harvest is good or bad for the coming year.
The ceremony is led by the King Norodom Sihamoni and two sacred oxen. First the oxen plough a furrow of ground; then they are led to seven trays containing rice, corn, beans, sesame, grass, water and alcohol. Depending on which tray the oxen choose to eat from, the chief astrologer will declare the fate of the harvest for the year.
This royal ceremony is celebrated to bless the crop and pray for a sufficient rainfall, which is essential for the agricultural sector. The Royal Ploughing Day takes place every year in the beginning of May when the farmers start preparing to plough the fields and sow the crops.
Every year, Cambodian farmers anxiously await the predictions at the end of this ceremony, which they observe with strong faith and belief. Most Cambodians today still consult traditional manuals before making any major decisions regarding business matters or meeting important persons./.