Royal oxen plough fields (Source: VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – More than 10,000 people flocked to Cambodia’s Takeo province to attend a traditional royal ploughing ceremony which was held on May 22 under the chair of King Norodom Sihamoni.

Also present at the event were Chairman of the National Assembly Heng Samrin, Senate President Say Chhum, and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, among others.

Talking to reporters, Governor of Takeo province Ouch Phea conveyed his honour and delight at his province having been chosen to host the ceremony for the second time since 1969. The event is organised annually to mark the beginning of the farming season.

The governor was also assigned by King Sihamoni as the king of the ploughing ceremony, while his wife, Srey Punnadavy, chosen as the queen of the sowing ceremony.

The designated king ploughed the rice field by using royal oxen and the assigned 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.

At this year’s ceremony, the oxen had rice, corn, and green bean, and a court soothsayer predicted that these three crops would give good yields this year.

Rice cultivation remains important to Cambodia’s agriculture. Last year, the country produced 7.4 million tonnes of rice, a year-on-year increase of 3.5 percent. –VNA