BANGKOK – Thailand's king has presided over an annual royal ceremony that marks the start of the rice-planting season.
The ceremony was held Friday in Bangkok on a royal field in front of the Grand Palace.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (ma-ha 'WAH-chi-ra-long-gon 'BOH-din-ta-ra-teb-pa-ya-wah-rang-goon) sat with daughter at his side as two oxen plowed a furrow and an official scattered rice seeds in the oxen's wake.
According to Thai historical accounts, the Royal Plowing Ceremony dates back around 700 years.
Thailand is one of the world's leading producers of the crop, putting out around 30 million tons per year. It is the second largest exporter of rice, behind India.