The Royal Ploughing Ceremony was probably, in the old times, the rite designed to remind the farmers and to give an auspicious beginning to the new planting season especially the rice farming that is the major source of food. The leader or the rulers of the country preside over the ceremony when the planting seasons begin. to remind the farmers and to give an auspicious beginning to the new planting season especially the rice farming that is the major source of food.
The leader or the rulers of the country preside over the ceremony when the planting seasons begin. After some times passed, the Brahmanic rite called Ploughing ceremony was then introduced. Its purpose is to encourage the power and happiness. Bhraman were instructors for the ceremony. The king or the leader of the country may designate this duty to a respective high-ranking officer to perform the ceremony as Phraya Raekna, Lord of the Ploughing Ceremony.
The roles of the queen or wives who had to help ploughing are designated to four celestial maidens, called the queen of sowing ceremony, assisting Phraya Raekna by carrying seeds containers and distribute the seeds after Phraya Raekna had ploughed the ground. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony has been annually performed for thousands of years in several countries such as China and India. In the reign of King Rama IV, the King had royal command to initiate the Buddhist rite together with the original ceremony. The reason was to prosper all the cereals brought into the ceremonial field. After the Buddhist rite that is performed in the first day, the Bhramanic ceremony The combined rite was so called the Royal Ploughing ceremony that lasts for 2 days.
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is very important and it is a prosperous ceremony to encourage all the farmers.The ancestral masters had set the rule that the ceremony must be performed on the best day of the year, comprising the auspicious occasions as stated in the treatise of astrology. This particular day must also be in the sixth month and the traditional auspiciousness is based on the lunar calendar The Royal Ploughing ceremony was originally conducted at Phaya Thai rice field. But when the ceremony was reestablished in 2503 B.E., it was then moved to the Sanam Luang Ground that used to be a ceremonial ground in the reign of King Rama I, II, and III. The Phraya Raekna was the minister of agriculture.
The four celestial maidens were ladies who work in the royal palace.Since there were changes, the new duty of Phraya Raekna was then assigned to the director general of rice department, the ministry of agriculture. The four celestial maidens were selected from female officials who worked in the ministry of agriculture.In the consecutive years until present, the Phraya Raekna duty has been assigned to a permanent undersecretary of the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives. The celestial maidens are selected from single female officials, ranked 3rd-4th levels, who work in the ministry of agriculture.
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is the ceremonial event that brings auspiciousness to cereals and also encourages farmers to carry out farming works. His Majesty the King has been interested in this ceremony. He has been to the ceremony every year to preside this traditional royal ceremony and to make a wish for prosperity of Thai agriculture. His Majesty the King has conducted the experiment in planting rice in his personal rice field in Chitrlada Villa, Dusit Palace, where he lives.
After the harvesting, he kindly gave 40-50 kilograms of rice grains for the ceremony. The King’s rice grains were separated into two portions. The first portion is distributed into the ceremonial ground. The second portion was contained in small packs and sent to provinces of Thailand. Those packs are later distributed to farmers for their auspicious believes and follows the King’s wish to encourage and support the agriculture.