In Thailand, the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony is a special day where a symbolic rice planting takes place, which is supposed to help guarantee a good harvest in the year to come.
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Note: Royal Ploughing Ceremony is observed by the Government sector only.
Both Buddhist and Hindu Brahmin ceremonies are involved in the Thai festival, where monks from each religion bless the planting. The field and public square called “Sanam Luang”, in the centre of historic Bangkok and right in front of the royal palace, is the place where the ceremony is held. Sometimes, the king of Thailand himself will take part.
The royal planting occurs at the outset of rice-growing season and involves two sacred oxen pulling a decorative plough, while traditionally costumed men accompany and plant rice in the furrow. The oxen is also fed rice, grass, other foods, and given rice-whiskey to drink.
Based on what the oxen choose to eat when given multiple foods to choose from, astrologers then predict if it’s going to be a good rice-growing season ahead.