What Are Rangoli Designs?


Quick Answer

Rangoli designs are traditional Indian folk art patterns that use colored powders or particles to decorate houses and courtyards during Hindu holidays, especially Diwali. Rangoli designs vary regionally, but most are geometric.

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Full Answer

Rangoli designs are very colorful and come in many shapes and sizes, but all use fine particles such as tiny flower petals, ground rice or powdered chalk. Rice is the traditional medium, but modern rangoli sometimes use chemical colors.

Rangoli patterns are associated with Hindu festivals, and as such, they often feature sacred symbols or imagery related to specific gods. For example, two interlocking triangles are used to represent the goddess Saraswati, while small footprints at the corners of the rangoli represent the goddess Lakshmi. Many rangoli are bordered by lotus patterns. Depending on the region, the holiday and the number of petals, the lotus design has a variety of significances, including the infinity of time.

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