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Royal Ploughing Ceremony
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  1. #1
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    The Ploughing Ceremony, which is observed every year, is an age old tradition dating back to the Sukhothai Period. It was observed in the Ayuttaya Period and passed on to the Rattanakosin Period. The Ploughing Ceremony is held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok during May. It signals the start of the planting season in this country where the majority of the population are farmers. The ceremony is aimed at providing morale and making predictions about the year's crops.

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  2. #2
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    talking

    Oxen predict boomtime for Thailand
    Thursday, May 8, 2003 Posted: 0915 GMT ( 5:15 PM HKT)

    The annual ceremony marks the beginning of the rice planting season.

    BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuters) -- Two sacred oxen consumed liquor, grass and rice at Thailand's ancient ploughing ceremony on Thursday, signifying the kingdom would enjoy a booming economy, a bountiful harvest and increased trade this year.

    At the annual ritual held in front of the gilded pagodas of Bangkok's Grand Palace, the white bulls grazed from banana-leaf bowls of rice, grass, and alcohol, but avoided other bowls containing water, corn and sesame seeds.

    "The holy oxen ate grass, which means there will be ample water, good crops and bountiful livestock," the master of ceremonies told Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who represented his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

    "The sacred oxen drank liquor. The forecast is transportation will be more convenient, international trade will improve and the economy will prosper," he said.

    If the animals had consumed the corn or sesame seeds that would have been interpreted as a sign of bad weather during the year.

    The oxen are brought to the oval in front of the Grand Palace every year and plough a symbolic furrow in the dusty ground to mark the beginning of the planting season in the country, where 60 percent of the 63 million people still live on farm land.

    The ritual, which dates back centuries, was broadcast live on television and witnessed by more than 10,000 people.

    The beasts consumed the same food and drink at the event last year, when the economy grew 5.2 percent, compared to just 1.9 percent in 2001.



    Thai officials prepare for rice planting during royal plowing ceremonies Thursday, May 8, 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. The royal plowing ceremony is an ancient Brahman ritual that was reintroduced in 1960 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is considered the official commencement of the rice-growing season. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)



    Oxen are guided by Thai officials during royal plowing ceremonies. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)



    Thai officials dressed in traditional costume feed oxen at an annual plowing ceremony presided over by Thailand's Crown Prince Vajilalongkorn in Bangkok on May 8, 2003. At the ancient Brahmanic ceremony held at the Grand Palace, the two sacred oxen consumed liquor, grass and rice, signifying the kingdom would enjoy a booming economy, a bountiful harvest and increased trade this year. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang



    A Thai official dressed in traditional costume leads two oxen to an annual plowing ceremony. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang



    A Thai official dressed in traditional costume spreads paddy seeds in an annual plowing ceremony presided over by Thailand's Crown Prince Vajilalongkorn in Bangkok on May 8, 2003. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

  3. #3
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    Sacred oxen eat maize and grass, leading soothsayer to predict good crops for Thailand
    AP, Friday May 7, 12:04 PM

    Watched by royalty, a pair of sacred oxen ate maize and grass at an annual ceremony Friday, leading Thailand's chief soothsayer to predict abundant rain and plentiful crops in the country.

    In a ceremony led by Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, thousands of people watched as officials wearing traditional white and red costumes escorted the two bulls plowing a field next to Bangkok's Grand Palace.

    After plowing in a circle three times, the oxen were offered symbolic bowls of rice, maize, green beans, sesame seeds, alcohol, water and grass while officials spread seeds to mark the start of the farming season.

    "The royal bulls ate grass and maize, which means water will be plenty. The lowland rice crop would face certain damage but the highland rice fields will be prosperous," said Banphot Hongthong, an agriculture ministry official, conveying the royal soothsayer's predictions to the prince.

    He said the soothsayer also predicted plentiful food, vegetables and livestock.

    But international trade will not be as good because the bulls did not touch whiskey, which represents foreign trade and communication, he said.

    The royal plowing ceremony is an ancient Brahman ritual that was reintroduced in 1960 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is considered the official commencement of the rice-growing season.

    Despite increasing industrialization, Thailand remains an agricultural nation and is the world's largest rice exporter. Last year, it exported a record 7.5 millions tons of rice.

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