What is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony?
In Khmer, The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is called Bon Chroat Preah Nongkoal. It is a popular holiday in Cambodia.
More Public Holidays
- Victory Day Over Genocide
- Cambodia’s Constitution Day
- Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords
- Cambodia’s Independence Day
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony has been celebrated for hundreds of years in several Asian countries to mark the start of the rice growing season.
The ceremony usually takes place during the month of May and also marks the beginning of Cambodia’s rainy season.
What Happens During the Royal Ploughing Ceremony?
Traditionally, the King (or someone assigned in his place) begins ploughing a field with two royal oxen. At the same time, others sow the field with rice seeds. This part of the ceremony symbolizes the start of the rainy season and also wishes a successful harvest for the King’s people.
After the field has been ploughed and sowed three times, royal servants place several trays of rice, corn, sesame seeds, beans, grass, water, and wine before the royal oxen. Predictions of future events will be made depending on what the oxen decide to eat.
For example, if the oxen eat more agricultural items, it’s believed that crops will do well during the year. Or if the oxen eat grass and wine, cattle could be plagued with epidemics.
When is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony Taking Place?
The ceremony will take place on May 3rd next to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Watching the ceremony is the best way for foreigners to experience this holiday.
If you’re traveling through Cambodia, make plans to be in Phnom Penh during this time. You will be able to observe the full event, plowing, sowing, and the oxen predictions. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony should also be broadcasted on national TV, in case you can’t make it in person.