Chroat Preah Nongkoal (in May) is the Royal Ploughing
Ceremony which inaugurates the planting season and involves
symbolic ploughing and sowing of seed.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony is traditionally held in Pisak
(in May) at the start of the rainy season when Khmer people
start preparing to do the farming.
practice is dictated by the Satra (a book of traditional
before they start to conduct business,to get in touch
with someone, or to fulfill certain important duties, they
must consult this book.
ritual ceremony is also held to pray for a good harvest.
Consequently, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held every
the 1st day of the waning moon, the Brahmans conduct feasting
at the five decorated canopies.
canopies are set up at five compass points: East, Southeast,
Southwest, Northwest, and Northeast.
the five days of the Brahmanic feast, the King initiates
the ploughing to ensure success in farming for all his people.
the King is absent in the ceremony, he will assign his representative
to do the duty.
representative is always called “Sdach Miech”
although he is not a king and his wife is called “Preah
Mehour.” Sdech Miech and Preah Mehour dress as Kings.
Sdech Miech sits on Preah Salieng and Prah Mehour sits on
a hammock like litter followed by about 40 dignitaries.
Peat music plays Bot Klom (musical rhythm) in front of the
procession. Before ploughing, Sdech Miech and Preah Mehour
pay their respects at the decorated canopy located to the
ceremony is based around three ploughs: the leading plough
is called Nangkoil Yong, the second one is ploughed by the
Mehour walks following the third plough, sowing the rice
seeds carried by one of her aids. Pin Peat continues playing
Bot Klom until the procession has been around the Royal
rice-fields three times.
ploughing stops at the decorated canopy located in the East
and the king pays his respects again and then returns to
year the ceremony was held on 23 May 2008 at the square
of Veal Preah Merhu in front of the National Museum in Phnom
Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the ceremony,
which marks the beginning of the crop planting season in
Cambodia. National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin
and other high-ranking officials as well as foreign ambassadors
to Cambodia were also present.
the plowing, two royal oxen were driven to the seven trays
containing paddy, beans, corn, sesame, water, wine and grass.
oxen only ate rice, corn, and beans, leaving behind sesame,
water and wine. It is commonly believed that if the oxen
drink the wine it may be a harbinger of conflict.
Royal Oxen ate paddy, corn and beans during the Royal Ploughing
ceremony. This is a good sign for corn, rice and beans growing
in the country, said a Royal Brahmin.
the same time, the group of Brahmans make predictions using
the holy cows. These predictions are based on what the holy
kinds of food are placed before the king’s seat:
drink water, it means there will be rain
eat rice, it means a good harvest for farmers in the year
eat soybeans, it means a bountiful harvest of soybeans.
eat sesame, it means a bountiful harvest of sesame.
eat corn, it means a bountiful harvest of corn.
eat grass, it means disease will prevail over the nation
drink wine, it means the nation will suffer at the hands
of gangsters, robbers, or drunkards.