A colourful design called a Rangoli is made
near the entrance to a house to welcome guests. Traditionally they are painted or created
out of coloured sand/rice powder. A symmetrical design or picture (Gods, Goddess, Dancers,
Diwas etc.) is drawn and coloured rice powder/sand is then layered on top to form a
A symmetrical design like the one opposite can be drawn on paper or card and then
decorated by children with crumpled tissue paper. Also sand could be used, mixed with
paint or coloured with food colourings. (mix sand with water coloured with food colourant,
pour off excess and leave to dry in a warm place). Chalk could also be used to draw a
Rangoli directly on to paving stones in a secure outside area.
In a traditional household, the lady of the house starts her daily chores with purifying
herself, drawing some Rangoli lines in front of the pooja room and the tulsi. Her regular
routine begins after this ritual. With this, her entire day remains fresh and lively.
What you will need to create a
The rangoli patterns are usually made with rice powder that has been coloured with dyes.
You can get lovely, bright colours to make your designs with. Most shops that sell diwali
related items like diyas and crackers stock rangoli powder. You can even use flower
petals, cereals (the orange and yellow coloured dal), turmeric powder, to lend colour to
You will also need a piece of chalk to draw the outline of the rangoli design on the
How to create the rangoli?
Choose a design that you want to draw. 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 design 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. Take
care to sprinkle the powder carefully, don't let powders of two different colours merge
with each other.
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 that will add lots of colour to your diwali celebrations.
Look into these Tips for great Rangoli ideas
Rangoli can be done in any design, and any
colour, be it white or any pleasing combination from coloured saw dust or different coloured
pulses and spices or coloured rice or petals of different flowers. Decorate the entrance of
your house, along the pathway, around the food display, at the place of worship.
Traditionally, rice flour/ wheat flour, kumkum
and haldi are used at the place of worship. They are considered auspicious.
Raw rice is also soaked for an hour and then
ground to a thin fine paste. Using a wad of cloth soaked in the paste and adjusted along the
ring finger, designs are drawn. On drying the white line designs look very nice. A dash of
colour can be added if desired, with kumkum and haldi.
For a quick job, moulds are available and so is
fine white stone powder. Just fill the mould and roll it on the surface to get a lovely
intricate design in white.
You can also colour rice at home using food
colours. Wet the food colour powder with a few drops of water and rub the rice in it till it
is uniformly coloured. Do not forget to wear gloves to protect your hands from getting
coloured. Dry the rice on paper, in shade before use.
Caution: If the rice is not completely dry it may leave coloured stains on the floor.
Rose petals, marigold petals, small purple paper
flowers, finely cut greens-grass/ leaves-even methi leaves...just fill up the large designs.
Use strings of marigold and if you like strings of kanakambara/ jasmine flowers to outline.
And add diyas to any design that you make for the soft sparkle.
Special floating candles are also available in
the market. Float them in Urlis (big containers of water) along with flower petals.