Royal oxen predict plentiful food, water

At the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang ground in Bangkok on Friday morning, the sacred oxen chose water and grass from the proffered platter, which was interpreted as a forecast there will be abundant water and food this year.

The Lord of the Plough picked out a piece of cloth measuring six palms, which indicates insufficient water. Low-lying paddy fields will give good yields, but those on higher ground will be damaged, according to the ceremonial prediction.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn presided over the annual ceremony that marks the beginning of the rice cultivation season.

Acting caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan, government officials and a large crowd, including farmers, attended the ceremony, which has been performed in the country since the Sukhothai period, some 700 years ago.

At last year's Royal Ploughing Ceremony, the oxen ate maize and grass. The Brahmin seers predicted a good harvest, an abundance of food and plentiful water.

Photos by Apichart Jinakul and Pawat Laopaisarntaksin

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