PHNOM PENH, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday observed its ancient royal ploughing ceremony in southeastern Prey Veng province under the auspices of the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni.
The ritual, broadcast live on the state's National Television of Cambodia, was to mark the annual start of farming season in the Southeast Asian country.
At this year's event, King Sihamoni assigned Prey Veng provincial governor Chea Somethy 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.
If the oxen eat a lot of agricultural items, it is thought that agricultural crops will give good output in the year, but if they eat little, it is believed 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 90 percent of rice, 95 percent of corn and 90 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 also to notify farmers that farming season has come."