A good harvest for this year is predicted following the food chosen by the royal oxen after the annual Royal Plowing Ceremony on May 23, according to the Palace’s Chief Brahmin Priest Kang Ken.
After plowing three times around the Veal Mean park in front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh, the oxen were led to seven ornate bowls filled with rice, corn, beans, grass, sesame, water and rice wine.
The oxen’s consumption of rice wine is generally considered to be a predictor of violent conflict. The consumption of water can mean flooding.
But the two cows apparently weren’t thirsty so they primarily focused on corn, rice and beans, said Kang Ken, who also wished for good rainfall and weather.
“As a result of the royal oxen’s diet it has been proven that, firstly, rice will be normal, secondly, beans will be medium and, thirdly, corn will be good,” he said. “I am proud of the result of the prediction. It so much better than in previous years,” he said.
King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the annual ceremony.
Tep Ngorn, second deputy Senate president, assumed the role of Sdech Meak and led the ornate royal plow with his wife who, assuming the role of Mehour, sprinkled rice and seeds in the furrow left in the earth by the plow.
Kang Ken said that this year’s ceremony brought an unusually large number of spectators.
Chea Vanny, 44, of Kandal province said that he was pleased the rice prediction was better than last year’s. “Last year’s prediction came true and this year’s will come true also,” she said.
Thou Voleak, 47, a farmer from Koh Kong province, said that despite the positive prediction she is still worried because many people have sold their land and stopped farming.
“It could cause less rice for Cambodia,” she said.