Rangoli as an art is an Indian sand painted design often seen in Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Rangoli patterns are traditionally drawn with the fingers using flour, rice grains or colored chalk. It can be square, rectangular or circular – or a mix of all three. They are often symmetrical. Rangoli motifs are usually taken from Nature - peacocks, swans, mango, flowers and so on. The purpose of rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck.
The base material is usually dry or wet granulated rice or dry flour, to which sindoor (vermilion), haldi (turmeric) and other natural colors can be added. Chemical colors are a modern variation. Other materials include colored sand and even flowers and petals, as in the case of flower rangolis.
In Maharashtra, rangoli are drawn on the doors of homes so that evil forces attempting to enter are repelled. During the festival of Onam in Kerala, flowers are laid down for each of the ten days of the celebration, the design growing larger and more complex every day. In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the kolam is drawn upon the ground or floor daily.
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