Thai astrologers yesterday predicted an “abundant” harvest after a pair of sacred white oxen munched on grass and rice, and slurped up water in an annual ritual watched by newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The monarch, seated next to his new Queen Suthida, observed the “royal ploughing ceremony” symbolising Thailand’s fortunes. The colourful procession, led by two Hindu Brahmin priests, saw two white oxen walk a field to the sound of blaring trumpets. The ceremony, which dates to the 13th century, marks the start of the growing season for Thailand, one of the world’s top rice exporters. Royal soothsayers base their predictions on which foods the animals choose to eat after the ploughing. The oxen are offered banana leaf-wrapped bowls of rice, maize, green beans, sesame, liquor, water, and grass.