Photographer's Note

Tamil Nadu - Madurai - Rangoli, colourful decoration

The main picture and one in the WS are taken in a street surrounding the Meenakshi Temple.
They demonstrate once again the colourful Indian society.
The third photo is taken on the flower market.

In India, there is a ancient folk art with the name rangoli in which patterns are created on the floor using materials such as coloured rice, dry flour, and more.
It reminded me a bit of the scenes with coloured sawdust that I saw in Léon, Nicaragua.

Information from Wikipedia:

Rangoli is an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals.
It is usually made during Diwali, the festival of lights but also during other Hindu festivals.

Designs are passed from one generation to the next, keeping both the art form and the tradition alive.

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 girls or women. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations and other similar milestones and gatherings.

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 colours are a modern variation. Other materials include coloured sand, red brick powder and even flowers and petals, as in the case of flower rangolis.

The rangoli's most important element is being colourful.
Traditionally, each new generation learns the art and thus a family keeps the tradition intact.
Some major symbols used in rangoli are the lotus flower, its leaves, mango, fish, different kind of birds like parrots, swans, peacocks, and human figures and foliage.

There are two primary ways to make a rangoli, dry and wet.

In Tamil Nadu, there is a prevalent myth that makes that unmarried girls get up before dawn and draw a rangoli to welcome the god Thirumal, I was told by a young Indian woman.

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 17 N: 12171] (49032)
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