Royal Plowing Ceremony in Cambodia in 2025

Royal Plowing Ceremony in Cambodia in 2025
Royal Plowing Ceremony in Siem Reap. Image by U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh , via Flickr
  How long until Royal Plowing Ceremony?
Royal Plowing Ceremony
  Dates of Royal Plowing Ceremony in Cambodia
2025 Cambodia Thu, May 15 National Holiday
2024 Cambodia Sun, May 26 National Holiday
2023 Cambodia Mon, May 8 National Holiday
2022 Cambodia Thu, May 19 National Holiday
2021 Cambodia Fri, Apr 30 National Holiday

Marks the start of the planting season. 4th day of the 6th lunar month's waning moon.

  Local name
Bon Chroat Preah Nongkoal

When is the Royal Plowing Ceremony?

The Royal Plowing Ceremony, called “Bon Chroat Preah Nongkoal” in the Khmer language, is solemnly celebrated at the beginning of the sowing and planting season on the 4th day of the 6th lunar month's waning moon, which is usually in May in the western calendar.

History of the Royal Plowing Ceremony

This holiday marks the start of the rainy season with feasts and prayers in the hope of a bountiful harvest.

The highlight of the day is undoubtedly the cultural ceremony that usually takes place at Meru Field in front of the National Museum, next to the Royal Palace.

In the ceremony, chanting monks ask the earth spirits for permission to plough. Then ceremonial furrows are drawn, rice is scattered and offerings are made to the divinities. King Norodom Sihamoni himself often gets involved in some plowing and planting.

It is then the turn of the royal oxen known in Khmer as Usapheak Reach, to make a prediction for the harvest in the coming year. The oxen are offered rice, grain, grass, water and wine. If they chose rice or grain the harvest will go well; water signifies rain; grass is a sign that crops will be devastated by insects; and wine, that there will be drought.

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