|A simple kolam in front of a house, Tamil Nadu. en.wikipedia.org|
Basic materials used to make rangoli are colored rice flour, colored sand or flower petals. Especially on festive occasions such as Diwali (Deepawali), Karthigai Deepam, Onam, Pongal or Sangaranthi and other Indian festivals Kolam or Rangoli designs will be impressive and awe-inspiring, bearing testimony to the sensitivity of the person to the religious aspects and his aesthetic vision. The Indian scriptures and Puranas mention about the evolution of this traditional art forms. The traditional designs with added innovations are passed on from one generation to the next, keeping the art form of Kolam or Rangoli alive. Such art forms enrich the residential areas and neighborhood and add zest to the sanctity of the temple premises.
Rangoli or Kolam indianexpress.com
'Rangoli', a Sanskrit word, has different names in different states. In South India, it is known as Kolam, Alpana in Bengal, Aripana in Bihar, Madana is Rajasthan, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh, etc. Though Rangoli is the common name in the Northern states, it is also referred to as Chowkpurna. There is a legend to the origin of Rangoli. Once in a kingdom, upon the death of chief priest's son, the entire country was in grief and the people and the ruler were engaged in intense prayer for days together to Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creator to restore his life. (Vide Chitra Lakshana), Brahma, pleased as he was, with their prayer and asked them to draw on the floor a replica of the dead person. Into the drawing of the dead person, Brahma breathed life, thus putting an end to the sorrow and pain of the people. The art of rangoli is an offshoot of this mythological legend.
|Kolam at Andayil Temple, Pudunagaram |
Some fascinating facts:
01. Rangoli is considered a symbol of good-luck and good will. Before drawing Kolam, the ground must be well cleaned with water. Kolams are never drawn on uncleaned ground.
02. Rangoli in an expression of our traditional cultural mannerism and hospitality in a religious matrix.
03. Among the festivals, Diwali witnesses the greatest presentation of rangoli. People make rangoli on the entrance doors of their homes on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. So is the festival of Karthigai Deepam in the Southrn states. On the rangoli displayed in front of homes, oil lamps are placed in a particular geometric pattern.
04. During the festival of Onam in Kerala, flowers of different hues are set on the cleaned floor in an attractive geometric pattern for each of the ten days of the celebration. The design of kolam with flowers becomes elaborate as the days go by during the festival.
05. In Tamil Nadu, the month of Margazhi (December-January) is an auspicious one . The Hindu belief has been that Sri Andaal, daughter of Periazhavar, the great Vaishnavite scholar in Tamil worshiped Lord Vishnu in that month and ultimately married him. So, young unmarried girls get up in the early morning, draw a Rangoli or Kolam to welcome the god Thirumal (Vishnu). It is done in the belief that they will get married to a suitable groom soon without any hitch. On the Aandal temple premises at Sri Villiputhur, TN numerous rangolis or kolams in elaborate styles are drawn with devotion by women.
06. The purpose of display of Rangoli or Kolam before the residences is not only to welcome guests, but also goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and fortune).
07. There are two primary ways to make a Rangoli, dry and wet, depending on the materials used: using a dry rice flour, colored flour, sand, etc. Geometric patterns and Motifs from nature (leaves, petals, feathers) and geometric or intricate patterns are common. Motifs from nature (leaves, petals, feathers) are also created.
08. Cultural development of Rangoli in the South originated in the era of the Chola Rulers.
09. In the state of Rajasthan Rangoli or the Mandana is painted on walls.
10. Ritual Rangoli or Kolam patterns are is commonly displayed on wedding days, some family functions, inauguration of new business, etc. It is common to see a big oil lamp is placed at the center of rangoli or Kolam.
11. It is a taboo to display rangoli before the house if death occurs in it. Rangoli is displaced in such houses only on completion of 10 to 13 day mourning period by the time when all the religious rites are completed
Rangoli or Kolam indianexpress.com
12. To draw Kolam coarse rice powder is commonly used so that birds and ants can feed on the rice powder