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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 picture.
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 rangoli?
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 your rangoli.
You will also need a piece of chalk to draw the outline of the rangoli design on the floor.

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.


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