Rangoli patterns are bright, colorful, and beautiful designs associated with Diwali. They are placed to welcome the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth – to your house and are thought to bring good luck. They originated in India but are produced wherever Hindu people celebrate.
Rangoli patterns are always made on the floor or on a board that can be carried to the spot where it will be displayed. They are often placed outside a house by the doorstep. Diya lamps might also be placed outside next to the Rangoli patterns during Diwali.
Rangoli patterns are often designed to be symmetrical. They combine straight lines, curved lines, and images like flowers and other things from nature. The symmetry of the designs in a symbol of prosperity, growth, and luck.
Rangoli patterns can be small or large. In parts of India, Rangoli competitions are held in which teams of people work together to produce larger designs to be judged and for the public to enjoy.
Rangoli patterns are mostly made during Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights. But you can also see them at weddings, special occasions, religious celebrations, and other Hindu festivals like Pongal, Tihar, and Onam. At these times, families will make their Rangoli patterns to display.
How are Rangoli patterns made?
Rangoli patterns are often made directly on the floor, but they can also be made on a board that can be carried to where they will be displayed. Every design is different, and many are passed on through the generations of a family. They feature straight and curving lines and refer to natural and celestial themes in their shapes.
First, the outline is drawn, and then the pattern in filled in with color. Rangoli patterns are very colorful and usually inexpensive, so everyone can make them using what they have. Colored powders can be used, or uncooked grans of rice that have been dyed; common rice things like flour or sand can be dyed and used wet or dry. Before synthetic pigments were available, people would have made dyes from natural things like tree bark and other plants for their Rangoli patterns.
Another story about the origin of Rangoli patterns
One story goes back to the Sanskrit epic Ramayana and tells how the people of Ayodhya, an ancient city in India, made Rangoli patterns to welcome Rama on his return from the forest he was banished to for fourteen years. Rama is a deity of Hinduism, and his story is told on Diwali.