PM invites Thais to take part in Royal Ploughing Ceremony

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Bangkok – The Thai Premier has invited the public to take part in the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony scheduled for Monday, May 14.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the ancient ceremony, to be held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, reflects the prosperity of the country’s agriculture and most importantly the strong bond between the monarchy and Thai people.

The ceremony has been known to people since the ancient Sukhuthai Kingdom, offering blessings to Thai farmers, boosting morale, and marking the beginning of the rice season.

In Thai, the ceremony is called “Raek Na Khwan which literally means “auspicious beginning of the rice growing season.”

In the ritual, two sacred oxen are hitched to a wooden plough and they plough a furrow in Sanam Luang ceremonial ground, while rice seed is sown by court Brahmins. After the ploughing, the oxen are offered plates of food, including rice, corn, green beans, sesame, fresh-cut grass, water and rice whisky. Depending on what the oxen eat, court astrologers and Brahmins make a prediction on whether the coming growing season will be bountiful or not.