India is rich in its culture and heritage.It is also a land of colours.This article of mine is about kolams.KOLAM is a form of drawing drawn as a ritual .It is believed that this practise prevails from ancient times,there is a mention about this during chola period too.
South Indians have this culture of drawing kolams in front of the house that is at the entrance.This practise prevails there in some parts India and also in some Asian countries too.Kolams are regionally known by different names in India,Rangolee in Maharashtra,Aripan in Mithila,Hase and Rangoli in Karnataka,Muggulu in Andhrapradesh and kolam in Tamilnadu.
We SouthIndians that too in a hindu family,it is a daily routine to clean front yard in the mornings and then draw kolams.It is not only a ritual but also health wise it is good.Women bend to sweep then bend for drawing kolams too.Bigger ones are drawn in front of the house and religiously smaller versions are done in pooja rooms.We draw it when it is damp.
In olden days mainly rice flour was used to draw kolams because ants, birds will have their share from it.Nowadays on festival days or mainly Tuesdays and Fridays some prefer to draw kolams using rice paste especially in their pooja rooms.Rice flour,powdered white stones, chalk powders are used. In addition to this people use turmeric and kumkum in their pooja rooms.Red brick powder is also used as a border.People living in apartments perfer to draw with chalk or color crayons and sometimes vinyl stickers are used instead of drawing regularly.Kolams come in sheets decorated with stones.
In the month of margazhi women draw bigger ones some even prefer to use color powders too.Each person will try to showcase their talents.Some people keep pumpkin flower or shoeflower in it.The next month of Margazhi is Thai in tamil month .First day is known as Pongal.Second day we celebrate siru veetu pongal those who keep the flowers will celebrate this Pongal.
Kinds of kolams:
There are different patterns for drawing kolams.Patterns which run around dots,then we have geometrical figures,we have objects drawn like ship, pots, lamps etc. Flowers,animals and birds too are drawn.Some draw simple patterns, or just draw straight lines,sikku kolam and even free hand drawing is done.
Women calculate the dots that vary from one and another.The number of dots may be even or odd and sometimes increases or decreases according to the pattern.Even if a small dot is missed the entire kolam goes wrong.
Rangoli on the other hand have different colors in it. Flowers have brighter shades leaves have green tinch like wise according to the design colors are used.Gods and Goddesses are drawn in this method.
We keep lamps in kolams for festivals like Diwali and Karthigai.
In Kerala athapoo that is kolams with flowers are done for Onam.
Also another belief is that when we draw kolams in front of the house it is for inviting Goddess Lakshmi.It is a fantastic ritual.Im also proud to say that I can perform such a wonderful task. This habit is passed from one generation to another.
Image source: Google