The Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal) is an important celebration, especially for farmers in Cambodia. On that day the dry season is officially over and the rainy season begins. Now the planting can start and the farmers plow their fields. Usually there are no machines, as ever oxen or water buffalo are still harnessed to the plow. A strenuous work for humans and animals.

Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal – Three symbolic plow rounds

Guided by the royal family, the festival takes place near the royal palace in front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh. The date marks the beginning of sowing. Three plows with sacred oxen plow three times symbolically the ground in front of the museum.

  • The first plow is called Nangkoil Yong. (Actually I do not know what this means, but I will try to find out.)
  • The second plow is led by the King himself.
  • The third plow follows Prah Mehour (the King’s wife or the representative, if the King should be absent). She sows the rice into the furrow.

The ceremony ends on the east side of the square, the King pays his respects and returns to his seat to watch the ceremony.


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