Rangolis form an integral part of festival celebrations all over India. Rangolis make use of colors in a very creative way. The Rangolis are drawn by young girls, boys and the women on important festivals as well as auspicious days. Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated in India falls in the beginning of Winter every year. The festival of lights and colours as it is referred to is incomplete in India without the traditional Rangolis being a part of it.
Rangoli is not just created on the floor but can also be created on the walls. The word Rangoli has its origin from the word Rangaavali where Rang means colour in Hindi and the word aavail stands for a row of colours. The origin of Rangoli can be dated thousands of years back because it finds its mention in many manuscripts as well. The Rangolis are typically drawn outside the homes of people and outside temples and buildings. They are drawn outside pooja (prayer) halls and even in the balconies.
They are considered to be auspicious and lucky at the time of festivals. They are drawn to appease Gods and Goddesses. Specially at the time of the festival of Diwali, the Rangoli is drawn to appease Goddess Lakshmi, who is considered to be the Goddess of Wealth by the Hindus. The Rangolis are a form of showcasing the hospitality which the Indians have to all visitors who come to their houses at the time of festivals.
The colorful designs can be of different shapes. They generally have geometric shapes as the backdrop and are filled with various colours. The Rangolis are drawn by young girls and women. The Rangolis are known by different names all over the country. In the state of West Bengal, the Rangoli is referred to as Alpana. Kolam is the name given to it in the state of Tamil Nadu. In other parts of India, it may be called by different names, but technically the concept behind the Rangoli stays the same all over the country.
You do not have to be a Painter or an Artist to be able to draw Rangolis. There are stencils, instruction lists and designs available which any beginner can use. Creativity is an important aspect of drawing a Rangoli, because you let your ideas and feelings drawn on to the floor in front of you. The Rangolis are usually made with rice powder which can be of different colours. The Rangolis are drawn with great enthusiasm by young people.
There are numerous Rangoli competitions held in India wherein people participate with great fervour. The Rangolis have become a part and parcel of festival celebrations and foreign tourists are awe struck at the creative marvels of these Rangolis which are made. The Rangolis may vary from an area of a few square centimeters to rangolis that cover the area of large halls. Intricate colour patterns, symmetrical as well as asyymetrical designs form a very important part of Rangolis.