All About Royal Ploughing Day

Today is Ploughing Day. This ancient Brahmin rite has been celebrated in many ways in Thailand over the years with Buddhist elements added in the Rama IV era.

After being abandoned for many years, the modern one-day version of the ceremony (and reintroduction of the ploughing itself) dates from the 1960s.

The actions of the oxen pulling the plough are said to foretell a good or bad growing season. In recent times large crowds gather at Sanam Luang to witness the event and collect the seeds used in the ceremony for good luck.

Above: We believe this is a report of the first Thai ploughing ceremony since the practice was abandoned in the 1920s. Reporting on the May 2, 1960, event, the Bangkok Post, May 3, 1960 wrote:
Omens Determined From Ceremonies
Not So Much Water; Farang Contacts Grow
Officials Draw Plough After 3 of 4 Bulls Run Away
“…More and more contacts will be made with foreigners. This will help improve the economy of the nation.”

Also note the news item: Kra Canal Digging In Next 3-4 Years

Above: "A PLOUGHING FESTIVAL IN SIAM" BY HARRY HILLMAN, Published London, 1898.
"…illustrated account of this Siamese ceremony, which took place at the residence of Phya Surisak, the High Priest of Agriculture, when no farming will commence until the year is foretold by astrology and the results of the ceremonial ploughing."

Above and below: More photos from the ploughing ceremony in the late-nineteenth century


(Source: Undated postcard)

Above and below: Postcards showing the ceremony in the past – The location of the scene below is "Dusit Park"


(Source: Undated postcard)


(Source: Undated postcard)

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8 Responses to All About Royal Ploughing Day

  1. Wiz says:

    Prediction of 2012 during Ploughing Day
    Royal Bulls – eating grass means moderately abundant of water + cereal fruit, vegetable and meat will be abundant
    Prediction by Phraya Raekna: 6-pace long cloths – little water – need to conserve water to ensure moderately abundant of water and abundant of food
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3882926029308&set=a.1565708860327.74165.1163552024&type=1&ref=nf

  2. Wiz says:

    After the Ploughing Day ceremony, Buddhist monks have performed white magic on the paddy to ensure that those paddy will yuield a good and healthy rice after the harvest
    http://www.dailynews.co.th/thailand/113670

    The Ploughing Day is an Auspicious day to plant the rice for farmer in Pak Nam Pho
    http://www.dailynews.co.th/thailand/113698

  3. Wiz says:

    Let’s see the predictions by Royal Bulls vs. the results from Meteorological Dept. – Not really inline with the results
    http://www.prachachat.net/news_detail.php?newsid=1336552150&grpid=09&catid=&subcatid=

  4. Pingback: Royal Ploughing Ceremony - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

  5. Anonymous says:

    Crown Prince observing Royal Ploughing ceremony
    http://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/social/378500925/

    prediction from Royal ploughing ceremony
    https://www.facebook.com/ThaiPBSFan/photos/a.348532055084.364324.330743535084/10156969562920085/?type=3

    Royal Ploughing at Thung Som Poy between Phayathai place and Dusit Palace during the mid reign of King Chulalongkorn https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=712105102264739&set=a.263493180459269.1073741829.100003957666315&type=3&theater

    Normal chaos at the end of Royal ploughing ceremony at Thung Som Poy between Phayathai place and Dusit Palace during the mid reign of King Chulalongkorn)
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=712132898928626&set=a.263493180459269.1073741829.100003957666315&type=3&theater

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why did you say the Royal Ploughing Ceremony was yesterday? Or why was Immigration closed today… ?

  7. Editor says:

    Yes! It was today. Thanks for your comment.

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