The various names for this art form and similar practices include Kolam in Tamil Nadu, Mandana in Rajasthan, Chowkpurana in Chhattisgarh, Rangoli in Karnataka Alpana in West Bengal, Murja in Odisha, Aripana in Bihar, Chowk pujan in Uttar Pradesh, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh, Golam kolam or kalam in Kerala and others.
The purpose of rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by women. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations and other similar milestones and gatherings. In Nepal, Colorful rangoli are made from dyes and are lit up at night outside peoples homes and businesses.
Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, or flower and petal shapes (appropriate for the given celebrations), but they can also be very elaborate designs crafted by numerous people. The base material is usually dry or wet powdered rice or dry flour, to which sindoor (vermilion), haldi (turmeric) and other natural colours can be added. Chemical colors are a modern variation. Other materials include colored sand, red brick powder and even flowers and petals, as in the case of flower rangolis.
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