The Art of Rangoli

Rangoli is a stunning art form from Indian that is created to celebrate festive occasions.

Originating in India, Rangoli art is an intricate layout of patterns that are created on the floor using lots of different materials such as coloured rice, flour, sand, and flower petals. Typically, it is made during Hindu festivals such as Diwali and becomes a familial tradition with designs getting passed from one generation to the next.

The designs can also imitate traditions, stories, and folklore, depending on the area in India. These designs can also be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, flowers, or petal shapes. The most important element of the Rangoli is how coloured it is. The symbols, however, are still central to the design. Typical symbols include the lotus flower, mango, peacocks, and birds.

Its primary purpose is decoration but is thought to also bring good luck to the household. Following this, the materials are really important. The typical materials used can be found very easily to ensure that traditionally, the Rangoli could be made in all households.  Finally, the Rangoli must be made on a background of clear floor or wall. It can be made anywhere in the house, outside, in the middle of the room, or in the corner.

There are two different ways to make a Rangoli: dry and wet. This generally refers to the materials that are used to create the outline of the design and then the outline is filled with colour.

Using a white material, such as chalk, sand, paint, or flour, the artist can make a centre point on the ground and build the Rangoli from here. The shape of the Rangoli is heavily influenced by the region. In North India, a square grid is common, however, in South India, hexagonal grids are more frequent, and Onam Rangolis are typically circular. In North India, the colour is often based on gypsum, South Indian on rice flour, and Onam Rangolis are typically flower based.