Every year we celebrate three times! The first of January (New Year), Chinese New Year (Chinese New Year) and then Diwali (Indian New Year). This is on account that I am Chinese and my hubby is Indian. Our “Chindian” children there get twice the “angpows” or “kerchis” (red packets with money) and triple the fun each year.
Aside from getting the kids involved in the spring-cleaning, we also love to get them to participate in decorating our home for Diwali. One of our annual activity is making the rangoli.
What is Rangoli?
Rangoli is a popular folk art design that Northern Indian families create during the Diwali festival. It is also used during the Onam and Pongal festivals in southern India. Indian families create these rangolis as a welcoming gesture to the gods in the hope that it will bring good luck and fortune for the new year.
Rangoli designs are usually colorful and comprised of rangoli powders, ground rice powder, flowers and diyas (candles). As this is a new practice for me and I am not being proficient in using the powder, my husband and I decided to try our hand at making a rangoli with rice grains.
We will buy colored powders and dyed them in different colors for our design a day before to allow the rice grains to dry. Hubby is in charge of finding a design or pattern that we could replicate with our colored rice. Typically, we will create the rangoli after our spring-cleaning and the night before Diwali. [Like the Chinese tradition, the Indians also observed a no-sweeping/cleaning routine for 3 days beginning with the New Year.]
Obviously, this activity was more appealing to my daughter who enjoys hands-on activities. By the time she was eight, she takes it upon herself to create our family rangoli each Diwali festival. Below is a throwback photo of her highlighting the grains with food color or colored powder
Here is a sample of our Rangoli during one of the Diwali (2014). Diyas (candles), peacocks, Ganesh, and floral patterns are common designs used for Diwali Rangoli. You can find lots of inspiration just by googling Rangoli designs.
If you are too lazy to create the Rangoli – a small one like this took us about 2 hours, or if you don’t want to have a messy floor to clean, you can always get a sticker rangoli from Little India. It works just as well but perhaps does not have the wow factor.
I think next year we might try a different medium – flowers perhaps? For more ideas on Rangoli designs, click this post.
Let Us know how you celebrate your Rangoli for Diwali or any other special festival? Drop Us a line in the comments below. We will also love for you to connect with Us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.