The Royal Ploughing ceremony is a significant cultural event in Cambodia, and after being cancelled for the past three years due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is finally back this year. Held annually to mark the beginning of the crop planting season, the ceremony is an essential tradition that reflects Cambodia’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Today, the ceremony will take place in Trapaing Russey commune, Kampong Svay district of Kampong Thom province. His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni, will preside over the event, and senior leaders of the legislative and executive bodies, as well as foreign ambassadors accredited to Cambodia, will be in attendance. The ceremony will be followed by an agricultural fair, giving local farmers an opportunity to showcase their products and engage with the wider community.
The Governor of Kampong Thom province, Ngoun Ratanak, will play the role of “King Meak,” leading the royal oxen and plowing around the Royal Field. His spouse will play the role of “Queen Mehua,” walking behind and scattering seeds on the furrowed ground. This symbolic ritual is rooted in tradition and is believed to predict the upcoming distribution of rainfall, thus rice harvesting, in the country through the oxen’s appetite for paddy, corn, bean, grass, sesame, water, and wine.
The Royal Ploughing ceremony is an essential event for Cambodian farmers, as it signals the start of the rainy season and prepares them for their farming activities. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of rice cultivation in Cambodian society, dating back to the Angkor period. The ceremony reflects the country’s strong agricultural roots and its dependence on rice as a staple crop.
The Royal Ploughing ceremony is a crucial event that holds great significance for the Cambodian people. It is a tradition that has been passed down through generations and serves as a reminder of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
After being cancelled for the past three years due to the pandemic, this year’s event is a hopeful and uplifting sign that things are starting to return to normal. The ceremony provides a platform for local farmers to showcase their products, engage with the community, and celebrate Cambodia’s strong agricultural roots.