Diwali, the festival of lights, is more than diyas, candles, fairy lights and crackers. It is a festival of colours in its own way, be it painting our homes right before the festive season or the colourful new clothes or artistic rangoli, the celebratory hues are in all bright colours.
Rangoli a traditional Indian art form is practised in various variants across India. The creative, articulate hand-painted designs have a different name and form in various parts of the country. Alpana in Bengal and Assam, Kolam in Tamil Nadu, Muggulu in Andhra Pradhesh, Chaookpurna in Chhattisgarh among many other are all same derivatives of Rangoli. Even the flower alternative in Kerala, Pookalam, made during Onam is yet another example. With different names, they all denote the same thing — good luck and prosperity.
The word ‘Rangoli’ derives from a Sankrit word ‘rangavalli’, which is a combination of two words – rang and aavalli. Rang meaning colour and aavalli implying rows or lines; thus the colourful patterns of the art form. Interestingly, a Rangoli design is always made in geometric shapes and is symmetrical in design. As numbers are essential in Hindu mythology, Rangolis too abide by it, along with holy symbols.
In Diwali, when it is believed that praying to goddess Lakshmi brings prosperity to the homes, the intricate pattern mostly painted at the doorways or courtyard is done to welcome the goddess. The colourful patterns are not just for decorative purposes; they exemplify a deep religious spirit too. Mostly practised by women of the house, these deigns are part of the sacred rituals.
Traditionally, Rangoli patterns are made with rice flour and crushed lime stones. With time synthetic colours and chalk powder have also added to the list of materials needed for the design. The temporary designs made just before the puja on Diwali are often decorated additionally with diyas and flowers.
The geometric patterns include floral motifs, lines and forms of many other animals and symbols closer to religious significance. Lotus being the most adorned pattern during the festival as it is believed goddess Lakshmi sits on the flower and also it also symbolic of the beginning of life.
The bright colours traditionally used in the Rangoli all have a special significance. The white made with rice flour signifies purity, coolness and safety. The red mostly obtained using vermillion or sindur, signifies strength and energy, turmeric power was used for yellow that connotes to richness and healing, green – which is usually obtained by crushing grains – signifies harmony. While blue and orange means happiness and sacrifice respectively. Made with materials part of every household be it rich or poor, these have greater connotations than just to beautify our homes.
Here are some amazing designs that we loved so much, we couldn’t choose.
So get creative this Diwali and try one of these beautiful design.