DAY 1 INTRODUCTION Rangoli mythology)

Rangoli is a Hindu folk art, generally created on a floor on special festive
occasions. The origin of this art can be traced to the Puranas (works on Hindu
mythology). Simply put, Rangoli means a row of colors. The tradition of Rangoli
originated in Maharastra and slowly disseminated to other parts of India.
Rangoli, also known as Kolam in South India, Chowkpurana in Northern India,
Madana in Rajasthan, Aripana in Bihar, Alpana in Bengal is the ancient Hindu
religious floor art. According to a legend recorded in Chitra Lakshana, the
earliest treatise on Indian painting, a king and his kingdom were steeped in
sorrow at the death of the high priest's son. Everybody prayed to Lord Brahma,
who moved by the prayers, asked the king to paint a portrait of the boy on the
floor so that he could breathe life into it. And with that the art of floor painting
came to life. And that is how rice, flour and flowers were transformed into
picturesque offerings to God in the form of floor painting.
Creative Expression
'Rangoli' is a sanskrit word which means a creative expression of art through the
use of color. In ancient India, rangolis were used to decorate the entrances of
homes, a floor painting which provided a warm and colorful welcome to visitors.
In Indian cultures, all guests and visitors occupy a very special place, and a
rangoli is an expression of this warm hospitality. In particular, the Diwali festival is
widely celebrated with rangoli, since at this time, people visit each other's homes
to exchange greetings and sweets.
In a rangoli, powdered colors are sprinkled on cleaned and dusted floors to form
decorations. Rangolis can be vivid, three -dimensional art complete with sh adings
or they can be the traditional plain, yet as beautiful as, two -dimensional designs.
The colored powder is usually applied 'freehand' by letting it run from the gap
formed by pinching the thumb and the forefinger.
In ancient times, rangolis were ac tually decorations made on the entrances and
walls of houses to brighten up and add color to occasions being celebrated, like
weddings, births and significant religious days. They also signified a warm
welcome for visitors. In fact in Maharashtra, India, h ousewives make them each
morning. The designs would be simple and geometrical but could invoke symbolic
forms. Oil lamps (diyas) would be placed in the rangoli to give it yet another
Thus, reflecting regional beliefs and aesthetics based on a common spiritual
plane the art of floor painting is one which has survived all influences and
retained and transmitted the spirit of Indian life.
To begin with …
Give the following instructions to the participants
Choose a design that you want to d raw. You may find designs from books
and magazines or you may try to create your own design. Rangoli designs
are symmetrical in nature and geometric in shape. If you want to try out a
design of your own, first draw it on a piece of paper and fill in the de sign
with coloured sketch pens to get an idea about how the rangoli will look.
Wipe the floor (where you want to create the rangoli) with a wet cloth and
wait for the area to dry.
With a piece of chalk, first draw the outline of the rangoli design.
Now it's time to fill in the outline with rangoli powder, the most challenging
part of the whole exercise. Pick up some powder with your thumb and
index finger and fill in the design by rubbing the two fingers together and
sprinkling the powder on the floor. T ake care to sprinkle the powder
carefully, don't let powders of two different colours merge with each other.
Start from the centre and move outwards.
You can use traditional colours like flour of rice and dal. But easily
available colours like gulal, k umkum or even poster colours can be used.
You may create spaces within the rangoli design to place diyas. You could
also use flower petals of different colours (golden marigolds, bright red
roses) to add that extra dimension to your design.
With a little bit of imagination, a dash of aesthetic sense and dollops of
patience, you can create a piece of art
Make a stencil and use it to make harmonious patterns.
Options for Coloring:
gulal, kumkum
petals of different flowers and leaves
Pastel crayons and poster colours
Rice paste
Colored sawdust, small thin pieces of stones
grains, pulses, cereals
(Saw dust can be coloured with the help of dyes and should be done a night
*Colored rice is another choice:
*To food color rice,
 add a healthy amount of food coloring to two 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol in a Ziploc bag.
 Pour in about 3/4 cup of UNCOOKED rice.
 Close the bag and shake well .
 Pour onto a piece of wax paper or tinfoil to dry
(Making the colored rice is messy and food color doesn't come out of clothes therefore the shaking
part should be done carefully.
 Let dry (about 1/2 a day -- less if you spread them out well in a warm airy place. )
Food coloring Paste can also be used instead of drops.
Tell the participants that we wi ll begin with simple patterns with the help of
4X4 points. Tell them to fill the pattern using coloured saw dust.
Day 3
1. With the help of chalk and the rope draw a semicircle at the entrance as shown
in the diagram
2. Draw a rangoli using free hand drawing around the semi circle
3. Colour the rangoli using flowers
Day 4:
This type of rangoli is usually done around flowerpots, on the steps lead ing to
stage or on the threshold of the main door of the house
Draw rangoli
– using 4 points
– Using 5 points
– Using 7 points
– Free hand
Some of the coloured patterns are shown as below.
(Note: Stencil can be used for replicating the pattern)
Day 4
Rangoli for Puja Ghar
Auspicious symbols such as the swastik, kalash, aum lotus and geometrical
shapes like triangle, hexagon make a beautiful rangoli in Puja Ghar. It can be
made more attractive by arranging colorful flowers and leaves on it.
NOTE: Do not use black colour for making rangoli for Puja Ghar
Some of Designs are as follow:
Floral Rangoli
A floral design will make a beautiful rangoli. But it can be made more attractive by
arranging colorful flowers and leaves on it
Day 6:
Rangoli for the corners:
Draw the pattern on the corners of the room and fill them using flowers and
Rangoli During Diwali
During Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi is believed to visit homes that are well lit, so families
decorate their homes. People wear their best clothes or buy new ones, children are giv en
presents and new year greetings are exchanged through visits or Diwali cards. Thus, a
Rangoli design is created on doorsteps to welcome everybody. Rangoli exudes a pattern
in color that are specific for each region.
During Diwali, in the art of floor painting, the central rangoli design is the symbolic one
denoting the deity or the theme. Motifs generally created are lotus, fish, birds, snakes
etc. which reflects the unity of man and beast. Most of the rangoli designs are circular
exuding a sense of endlessness of time. Celestial symbols such as the sun, moon and
other zodiac signs are also common themes for rangoli. Layered with symbolism is the
lotus denoting Goddess Lakshmi, the unfolding of life, the heart or the wheel .
During Diwali, two interfac ed triangles are created that indicates the deity of learning,
Sarswati. Encircling this is a 24 -petal lotus flower border, the outer circle being decorated
with Lakshmi's footprints repeated in four corners. Sometimes the lotus petals are made
in a triangular shape for variety. In north Bihar, Lakshmi's feet are drawn at the door, the
toes pointing inwards to indicate her entrance.
Again in Andhra Pradesh there is an eight-petal lotus (ashtadal kamal) and many
geometric patterns forming the lotus. In Tam il Nadu the hridaya kamalam is an eightpointed star meaning lotus of the heart. In Maharasthra too the lotus is a basic motif and
designs like shankh kamal - shell lotus and thabak which means salver is in the shape of
an eight-petal lotus with straight lines elaborated with curving lines to give it the
appearance of a salver. In Gujarat alone there are said to be 1001 variations of the lotus
that are drawn during Diwali, the festival when Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped. Other
motifs are swastikas and conch shells.
All over the southern part of India the Diwali festival is marked by gaiety and prosperity.
The rangolis drawn are peripheral. Most Rangolis are basically geometric patterns
formed with dots and lines to make squares, circles, swastikas, lotus, trident, fish, conch
shell footprints, creepers, trees bear testimony both to individual genius and community
participation and many work for days together on single design.
The raw materials mainly used to make rangoli are edibles like rice flour, pulse and
flowers and leaves. All over India, floor paintings are essentially white in color. White is
a symbol of peace, purity and tranquility. The material used is rice flour or rice paste,
because rice to all Indians is a sign of prosperity. Yet another symb ol of prosperity is the
color yellow. Turmeric yellow or ocher is also often used to fill in the white outlines. More
often however, vermilion is used. Vermilion, is considered auspicious. Also used are pea
green and rust brown.
Creating a rangoli and then tastefully arranging small lamps on it will make it
more colourful and glowing.
Some of the patterns for rangoli that are commonly used during Diwali
Decorate the following rangolis by arranging diyas on it
Rangoli on Thali
This is a very easy, novel and unique way of making rangoli.
Dip cotton in the oil and apply it on the thali
Spread the colour on the thali with the help of sieve
Make a freehand design on it with the help of your finger
Place a diya in the center. Wherever there is pattern that you have made
by your finger, the shining steel of the thali will appears very beautiful