INTRODUCTION: Before the rice planting season starts in Thailand devoutly Buddhist farmers pay tribute to higher forces with special religious ceremonies that take place throughout the country.
SV: priests and attendants walking in procession (2 shots)
MCU: King Bhumibol Adulyadej and royal family watching from stand. (2 shots)
MV: Oxen pulling plough followed by priests scattering grain. (3 shots)
MV: musicians playing as young girls carry rice. (4 shots)
SV: people run and gather grains. (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Before the rice planting season starts in Thailand devoutly Buddhist farmers pay tribute to higher forces with special religious ceremonies that take place throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: In the capital, Bangkok, priests and their attendants walk in procession through the city streets at the start of the ritual, watched by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and other members of the royal family. The proceedings are like an offering -- in return for good weather and plentiful crops.
The ceremony has changed little since the time of the historical Buddha about 2,500 years ago -- but in Bangkok it is of ritual significance only -- with no real fields to plough. The symbolic grain is scattered by priests -- rice in most Hindu and Buddhist cultures being held in reverence as a holy food.
Pretty girls also play their part in the proceedings. At this stage the actual planting of the rice is being simulated -- on agricultural land priests would bless the soil with holy water. In Bangkok onlookers benefit from the ceremony by collecting the scattered rice, believing that the grains will bring them good fortune in the coming year.