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Bountiful crops, food production, and sufficient water for farming predicted

Thailand will have sufficient water for farming, while food production and crops will be bountiful.

This was predicted after the sacred oxen ate rice, maize and grass from among seven plates of food offered for them during the country's significant event, the ancient Ploughing Ceremony, held at Sanam Luang royal field this morning.

The traditional and colourful ceremony held from 8.19am to 8.49am was presided over by His Majesty King Maha Vajirarongkorn, and attended by members of the Royal Family.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, cabinet ministers, government officials, diplomatic corps, and farmers also attended. The important was watched by large crowd of people and over a million on live television broadcast nationwide and overseas.

The ceremony was held to mark the beginning of the rice growing season and to herald the coming of the rainy season. It was the ancient ceremony to bring good fortune to all plants.

Traditional soothsayers predicted good harvests, bountiful food production and sufficient water

At the ceremony this year, the permanent secretary for agriculture and cooperative, Mr Thirapat Prayurasit, performed as Phraya Raek Na or the Lord of the Ploughing Ceremony.

The Lord of the Ploughing Ceremony led two sacred oxen to plough a furrow in ground, while four consecrated ladies in the procession carrying baskets filled with rice grains, scattered them into the ploughed furrow while walking.

Walking alongside were Brahmans from the Royal Court chanting and blowing conch shells.

The two sacred oxen, Phra Kho Perm and Phra Kho Poon, were later offered seven plates containing grass, rice, maize, sesame, soyabean, water and liquor.

The oxen ate rice, maize and grass which the Brahmin soothsayer predicted bountiful crops and food production.

Earlier the Lord of the Ploughing Ceremony was also offered three pieces of folded cloth with different length. He picked five kueb (handspan) or a metre long cloth which soothsayer predicted sufficient water for farming and good harvest.

After the ceremony, the crowd then raced to collect auspicious rice sown during the ceremony for worship and for their good luck.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)