Rangoli designs are one of the oldest and most beautiful traditional decorative folk art forms of India.
Rangoli is a symbol of religious and cultural beliefs. It is considered an important part of the spiritual process.
Rangolis are patterns usually depicting Nature, drawn on the floor or a wall with powdered color made out of natural vegetable dyes.
The term Rangoli is derived from the Sanskrit word 'rang' which means color, and 'aavalli' which means rows or creepers.
So a Rangoli is basically a row of color, weaved into a pattern of sorts.
Rangoli comprises of mathematics,science, history, tradition and also spirtuality too.
Rangoli also became a form of self-portraiture for women and this is the street art of India.
They are known by different names in different parts of the country:
Alpana in Bengal, Aripana in Bihar, Madana in Rajasthan, Rangoli in Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra,
Chowkpurana in Uttar Pradesh and Kolam in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh.
Some of these terms, especially many of the North Indian ones like Aalpana, more often refer to floor painting with traditional wet colour than to the powder rangoli more conventional in South India.
Design-depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions and practices that are unique to each area.
Rangoli is a colourful pattern made near the entrance to a house followed in Indian culture to invite god(Lord Lakshimi-god of wealth).
The purpose of Rangoli to bring good luck and and prosperity.
One important point is that the entire pattern must be an unbroken line, with no gaps to be left anywhere for evil spirits to enter.
Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, celebrations of marriages and other similar milestones and gatherings.
Rangoli designs can be as simple as geometric shapes, deity impressions, flower and petal shapes that are appropriate to the given celebrations.
The base material is usually dry or wet granulated rice or dry flour, to which Sindoor (vermillion), Haldi (tumeric) and other natural colours can be added.
Chemical colours are a modern variation. Other materials that are now used are coloured sand, salt and even flowers and petals as in the case of Flower Rangolis.
Where sand or gulal is used for making rangoli designs, the vibrant use of many colors is a commom thing. A special type of Rangoli called as 'Maandna' is made using lime on auspicious occasions.