Pat Shingleton: "Plowing Season..."
Another Groundhog Day has been returned to the ground with predictions of more winter weather through mid-March, especially in the northern areas. From groundhogs to cattle for another prediction. This is the annual ploughing season in Thailand and during the Ploughing Ceremony two sacred oxen will determine the quality of the harvest. Placed in front of the decorated oxen are rice, beans, alcohol, sesame seeds and corn. Tradition indicates that the item most selected by these beasts will determine the yield for the growing season. If the oxen consume more sesame seeds or corn, bad weather will follow while selections of sesame seeds, alcohol and rice will provide abundant rainfall. Finally, in Greenland, native tribes, along with the Cherokee of North America and the Samoyeds of Siberia share a similar belief about rainbows. They believe that rainbows are the hems of the garments of the gods. Firefighters were unable to control a fire in 1998 along the Amazon in Roraima, Brazil. After two months, two Shaman were asked to perform a rain ceremony and the fire was squelched.