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Overview of the wonderful Thai Art of Vegetable and Fruit Carvings!

Jul 26th 2010 at 9:28 PM

Short History of Fruit and Vegetable Carvings!

The story of fruit and vegetable carving begins about 700 years ago in Sukothai, the capital of the Thai people, in what is now the north of central Thailand. Sukothai was the capital of the region from 1240 - 1350. In preparation for one of their major festivals, Loi Kratong, one of the King’s servants, called Nang Noppamart, tried to think how she could make her Kratong more beautiful, in order to please the king. She took a flower and used it as a pattern to carve from. She then carved a bird and set it with its head pointing towards the flower. Loi Kratong is still celebrated today and Sukothai is one of the best places in Thailand to experience it.

Fruit and vegetable carving is also mentioned in the poetry of King Rama 2 who reigned from 1808-1824. He wrote about the beauty of Thai desserts and fruit and vegetable carving.

After the revolution in 1932 fruit and vegetable carving became less popular. Those worried about the art disappearing set up a course to train people to teach the art to everyone in Thailand. Today it is taught from the age of 11 in primary schools through secondary school and on to university where it is an optional subject. The art is now being passed to foreign people and is being practised around the world. It is particularly popular with chefs who use it to improve the presentation of their food.

Everyone can now enjoy this amazing art in hotels, cruise liners, in every Thai restaurant around the world and on the internet. Everyday more and more people are discovering with disbelief and amazement the beauty of this Thai art thanks to the imagination of Nang Noppamart all those years ago.

The art of carving fruits and vegetables began in China do about 2000 years, for decorating plates and events. At the moment it is continued making the carving of habitual form in restaurants and great celebrations.

In Thailand this art was imported from China, in 1364, when one of the palace princess decorates a floating lamp (used in a Thailand traditional ceremony) with figures carved in fruits and vegetables. When seeing it, the king exclusively is touched and impels this art for his use in the court.

In 1932, the art of carving was "democraticed", when the King decides to extend forming the school professors. Thus, it happens to be more of the official arts, as the painting, music, dance, etc...

The difference between the Chinese and Thailand carving, one is based, basically, in the made reasons. The Chinese make allegorical figures and images of their stories and legends, whereas the Thailanders make flowers, mainly.

For More information and videos on this fantastic art of Vegetable Fruit Carving you may go to this site - Vegetable and Fruit Carving!

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