HRH Prince Sisowath Chivannariddh, son of Minister of Culture HRH Princess Norodom Bopha Devi and an Undersecretary of State for Tourism
wo grandchildren of King Norodom Sihanouk were the central players in the ancient
drama of the annual Royal Plowing Ceremony in Phnom Penh on Sunday, May 21.
HRH Prince Sisowath Chivannariddh, son of Minister of Culture HRH Princess Norodom
Bopha Devi and an Undersecretary of State for Tourism, solemnly drove oxen and plow
three times around the field in front of the national museum, above, after arriving
in state, far right, on a royal palanquin, accompanied by curious royal instruments
like the mobile gamelan, left, whose players march inside it.
HRH Princess Rattana Devi, an aide to her father HRH Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Speaker
of the National Assembly, arrived in a litter, then followed Prince Chivannariddh
around the field, scattering seed on the newly furrowed ground.
HRH Princess Rattana Devi
The splendid pageant was presided over by Their Majesties King Norodom Sihanouk and
Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, seen arriving at the field, above left, followed
by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ranariddh and Princess Marie.
After the plowing the royal oxen devoured grain from gilded platters in the center
of the field, and the Royal Astronomer, Din Prum, interpreted the oxen's appetite
as portending adequate rain and a plentiful harvest.
The stupa in front of the Phnom Penh railway station was the focus of Visak Bochea, on Wednesday, May 17, a celebration marking the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha 2543 years ago