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Royal Plowing Ceremony 2006

Cambodia will have plenty of agricultural crops and will not be plagued by disputes leading to political instability this coming year, according to royal astrologer's prediction.

The traditional ceremony forecasting agricultural outcome is celebrated Tuesday with 7 kinds of foods offering to special royal oxen, namely rice, corns, beans, sesame seeds, grass, water and rice wine.

National Assembly vice president You Hok Kry leads this ceremony under the auspices of King Sihamoni.

The royal cows eat rice, beans, corn, sesame seeds, and grass, and not rice wine, meaning there will be no social instability.

Senate leader Chea Sim, National Assembly leader Heng Samrin, lawmakers, senators, government and other officials, 100 farmers from 24 cities and provinces participate in this annual ceremony.

The royal astrologer kang Ken announces at the ceremony that there will be good yield of crops this season. During the colorful ceremony, a pair of royal oxen eat 95% of rice, 80% of bean, 75% of corn contained in golden bowls, 50% of grass, indicating that Cambodia will have an abundant year ahead and plenty of harvest.

The astrologer invokes the spirits to please yield rain, and the oxen do not drink water, but the astrologer says that this means there will be no flood. They do not drink rice wine so Cambodia will be spared of armed conflict.

The participants are very happy to have heard the announcement.

This ancient plowing ceremony marks the end of the dry season and is meant to welcome an auspicious start to rice-planting.

A pair of oxen ploughed a symbolic furrow at the park in front of the National Museum, near the Royal palace.