Cambodia on Tuesday observed the ancient royal ploughing ceremony in northwestern Siem Reap province, a ritual to mark the annual start of farming season in the Southeast Asian country.
Nation's King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the event, which was held at the terrace of the elephants in the complex of famed Angkor archeological park and live televised on the state's National Television of Cambodia.
The ceremony attracted thousands of domestic and foreign visitors.
At this year's event, King Sihamoni assigned Siem Reap provincial governor Khim Bunsong as the king of the ploughing ceremony and the governor's wife as the Queen of sowing ceremony.
The assigned King ploughed the rice field by using royal oxen and the designated Queen sowed seeds on the furrow as the symbol of planting.
After three rounds of ploughing across the field, the oxen were offered 7 plates of food: rice, corn, green bean, sesame, water, fresh-cut grass and wine.
Customarily, if the oxen eat a lot of agricultural items, it is believed that agricultural crops will give good output in the year, but if they eat little, it is thought that the yields will be low.
If the oxen eat grass and wine, it will be predicted that cattle will be plagued by epidemics, and if they drink a lot of water, floods will be expected.
The oxen ate about 90 percent of rice, 90 percent of corn and 95 percent of green bean, Kang Keng, chief of the soothsayers at the Royal Palace, announced at the ceremony with a prediction that the three types of crops would give "very good" yields this year.
"This is just the prediction based on the custom of the royal ploughing ceremony in old times," he said. "This ceremony is also to notify farmers that farming season has come."
Cambodia is an agrarian country with over 80 percent of the population being farmers.