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Rangoli is a traditional decorative folk art from India. These are decorative designs made on floors of living rooms and courtyards during Hindu festivals and are meant as sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities. The ancient symbols have been passed on through the ages, from each generation to the next, thus keeping both the art form and the tradition alive. The patterns are typically created with materials, including colored rice, dry flour,(colored) sand or even flower petals. Rangoli and similar practices are often followed in different Indian states; in Tamil Nadu, one has Kolam, Madanae in Rajasthan, Chowkpurna in Northern India, Alpana in Bengal, Aripana in Bihar, etc.
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, but over the years modern additions have been adapted. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, celebrations of marriages and other similar milestones and gatherings.
Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, flower and petal shapes (appropriate for the given celebrations), but they can also become very elaborate designs crafted by numerous people. The base material is usually dry or wet granulated rice or dry flour, to which Sindoor (vermilion), Haldi (turmeric) and other natural colors can be added. Chemical colors are a modern variation. Other materials include colored sand and even flowers and petals, as in the case of Flower Rangolis.