Can we imagine a life without colours? It would be dull, depressing and gloomy. Colours add vigour and cheer to our lives. Nature expresses its vibrant colours during all seasons.
Rangoli is a unique traditional floor art form exclusive to India. Since ancient times, rangoli was intertwined with the every day life of the people. All religious occasions, festivals and auspicious happenings like a marriage were associated with the drawing of a rangoli.
Rangoli is believed to impress Goddess Lakshmi and also acts as a welcome gesture to the guests and visitors who visit our house. Guests occupy a special place in Indian culture and they are welcomed warmly by appealing designs of a rangoli. Rangoli is considered to be a sign of Indian hospitality.
Rangoli designs are symbolic and are usually common across the country. They include geometric patterns, lines, dots, circles, squares and triangles. The common designs are swastika, lotus, fish, trident, foot prints of deities, trees, animals, flowers and other images drawn from nature.
Different festivals inspire different designs of rangoli. The festival of lights, Diwali, is symbolically represented in rangoli designs as lamps and lights.
During Sankranti, in Southern India, the entire month is religiously followed by drawing rangoli at the time of dawn. These designs are decorated with flowers and colours. Cow dung is shaped into small balls and placed in the centre of the rangoli and turmeric and vermillion are offered. It is a practice still seen in villages.
Though modernization has seen many traditions fade away, drawing rangoli is still seen in all cities, towns and villages. It is a tradition which is carried on from generation to generation. It is considered as a legacy which a mother transfers to her daughter. Rangoli designs are drawn by mostly women of the house.
Before performing the every day rituals of prayer, it is compulsory in all South Indian homes to clean the front space of the house and adorn the floor with delicate designs of rangoli.
Nowadays rangoli designs are made using a powder made from crushing a special rock which is white in colour. Originally it was done by using rice flour. Colours are added to the rangoli by using natural products like vermillion and turmeric. In modern days, these colours are replaced by synthetic ones.
In several schools and colleges during Sankrati festival, which is known as a harvest festival in India, rangoli competitions are held. Students and children are encouraged to participate and prizes are announced to the winners. The latent talent of the person is expressed through the drawing of intricate patterns and designs of rangoli. It is a fine art form which has traditionally woven itself into the lives of Indians.