Day 1 Introduction
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.OriginRangoli, 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 shadings 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 actually 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, housewives 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 dimension. 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.