Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (C) gestures during the annual royal ploughing ceremony in Svay Rieng province, Cambodia on May 3, 2018. Cambodia on Thursday held the ancient royal ploughing ceremony in southeastern Svay Rieng province under the auspices of the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Thursday held the ancient royal ploughing ceremony in southeastern Svay Rieng province under the auspices of the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni.
Live broadcast on the state's National Television of Cambodia (TVK), the ceremony was to mark the beginning of the annual farming season in the Southeast Asian country.
At this year's event, King Sihamoni assigned Svay Rieng Provincial Governor Men Vibol as the King of the ploughing ceremony and the governor's wife as the Queen of sowing ceremony.
The assigned King ploughed the rice field by using royal oxen and the designated Queen sowed seeds on the furrow as the symbol of planting.
After three rounds of ploughing across the field, the oxen were offered seven plates of food: rice, corn, green bean, sesame, water, fresh-cut grass, and wine.
In traditional beliefs, if the oxen eat a lot of agricultural items, it is believed that agricultural crops will give good output in the year, but if they eat little, it is thought that the yields will be low.
If the oxen eat grass and wine, it is predicted that cattle will be plagued by epidemics, and if they drink a lot of water, floods will be expected.
At the ceremony, the oxen ate about 95 percent of rice, 95 percent of corn and 80 percent of green bean, Kang Keng, chief of the soothsayers at the Royal Palace, announced.
"This is just the prediction based on the custom of the royal ploughing ceremony in old times," he said. "This ceremony is to announce that the farming season has come."