The time to celebrate with Rangoli

Insha Zarine Sayeed

People have just returned to their homes after being recklessly tired from celebrating Durga Puja, that, it’s time for lights, crackers and sweets. India is known for a myriad of festivals, however very few are as joyous as deepawali. This ancient festival is celebrated among every corner of the country in a perfect span of five days. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited festival for every Indian. Deepawali which is called the festival of lights is round the corner. This year the month of October welcomes this beautiful festival. Every Indian looks forward to this day every year. Diwali, 2016 is the time of grand celebration and is marked as the biggest Indian festival which every family celebrates with great fervor and excitement. Deepawali is taken as the auspicious festival where the good wins over the bad.  

Similar to a number of ancient festivals, deepawali is also determined with the help of the lunar calendar and hence it arrives at different dates annually. This year it would begin in the late of October and in the earnest of November on the 30th of October with Dhanteras as compared to last year when it was celebrated on the 9th of November. Dhanteras, the name has been carved from two words; Dhan which signifies wealth and Teras which signifies 13th, the day of the lunar month it falls on. “On Dhanteras it is considered auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that the new ‘Dhan’ or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck”, said the owner, Dinanath Basak of the jewellery shop, Basak Jewellers.

Additionally and most importantly, devotees pay homage to goddess Lakshmi, which is taken to be as the Goddess of Wealth. In the evening, diyas made of clay are lit to drive away shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans are also hummed in her praise. On this day both residents and businessmen clean and redecorate their houses and offices even shops and beautifully dazzle them with rangolis, lights and diyas. Deewali is touted as the festival of lights. But colours also play a big role in this festival.

On Diwali, the tradition of making Rangoli is being followed by years. Over the years the craze of rangoli making has increased a lot. Therefore, just a few days prior to the festive event, the search of easy rangoli designs begins on the internet. Rangoli which is the art of making colourful design on the floor with the help of coloured powders attracts people of every age. It is basically made just on the entrance floor at homes, offices and shops on Diwali. Every household’s mother or sister on this day sits on the floor and designs the beautiful rangoli especially from the morning itself after the cleaning of the house gets complete.

“Every year on deewali, I sit on our entrance floor and design the Rangoli. I am very fond of colours and love to make different bright colourful patterns of Rangoli with various colourful colours. For me Rangoli is the first attraction which every guest pays attention to as they enter the house during deewali and so it should beatufully made”, said a 20-year old, Suman Agarwal, a college goer.

Rangoli is a timeless tradition that is followed in all households. It has other names for it such as alpana, aripoma or kollam. There is no limit to how big a rangoli can be. Most rangolis are the same size as a door mat placed at an entrance. These rangolis are especially popular among residents of city buildings, where space is a constraint. For larger houses like bungalows, it is not uncommon to find an entire courtyard filled with a colorfully designed rangoli. 

Rangoli has its own significance on this day and is made artistically in all Indian homes. It’s a fact that we Indians love colours and is reflected in our ways of making colourful rangolis. The use of bright colours with amazing Rangoli designs and patterns make its beautiful thing for decorating homes on special events such as deewali. There are few common patterns and designs for Rangoli however the range of designs and patterns are simply endless. Nowadays even schools and colleges have introduced Rangoli competitions in various school and college events. As it’s a traditional feature, it’s true that the fond for Rangoli is dying out slowly in today’s generations. Therefore, these school, colleges even offices are making efforts to relive the art of colours among youngsters. The art of rangoli making is skillful and requires a lot of patience as well. But it is not an impossible task. One requires just few easy designs and beautiful colours to invent a remarkable art of colours on the floor. Getting to a bit of its historical part, which hardly anyone has thought about, Rangoli is drawn from two words, ‘rang’ and ‘aawali’ which signifies row of colours. A rangoli usually has a geometrical structure which is also at times symmetrical. The design patterns usually contain of natural elements like animals, flowers etc.

No matter the design, no deewali would be complete without the traditional rangoli design to welcome the guests, both divine and human. Rangolis are drawn in households throughout the country. In many cases, the drawing of the rangoli is a family tradition and is a part of togetherness.