Rangoli: The Art of India

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Rangoli is one of the treasured traditional Indian arts that are often associated with Diwali or the “Festival of Lights” and other Indian Festivals. It is also known askolam or muggu.

 

Rangoli and Hinduism

rangoli-2Human civilization is incomplete without traditions and customs. It’s always been an important part of every religion and culture. Some of them are so important to the people that maintain it that sometimes, they even sacrifice their lives for them.

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions on Earth. They have a lot of customs and traditions that are passed down through ages, from generation to the next, keeping the tradition alive. Mostly, people living in villages in India are very conscious regarding these but don’t mean that people in the cities do not observe them. It is said that people in living in villages are more devoted than people in the cities. There are literally thousands of customs and traditions in Hinduism. One of these is the Rangoli. It is engaged to art and is most common in all parts of India. This involves their creativity and talent in forming it on the floor in living rooms or courtyards.

What is Rangoli?

Rangoli is one of the treasured traditional Indian arts that are often associated with Diwali or the “Festival of Lights” and other Indian Festivals. It is also known askolam or muggu. Rangoli was originally designed in small patterns and tend to be geometric and proportioned, though this has been changed over time and newer themes and variations are being explored. But one important point that all Rangoli designs is created by an unbroken line, with no gaps to be left anywhere so there is no opening for evil spirits to enter.

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The materials that are used to make Rangoli are easily found everywhere. Therefore it doesn’t require big amount of money to create one. The most common major ingredient that is used in making Rangoli is the rice powder or rice paste because rice to all Indians is a sign of prosperity. Other major ingredients to make Rangoli are dried powder made from leaves color such as turmeric, charcoal and wood sawdust. Some major symbols used in Rangoli are the lotus flower, its leaves, mango, Tue vase, fish, different kind of birds like parrots, swans, peacocks, and human figures and foliage.

The Traditions of Rangoli

Hindus have many beliefs on how the Rangoli was formed. In the Ramayana story, the citizens welcome Rama back from his fourteen-year exile in the forest by painting Rangoli designs outside their homes. Hindu families still honor this tradition today. In India, some people get up very early in the morning create a Rangoli. The designs are both decorative and symbolize warm welcome and good luck. Candles and lamps are also placed outside the home in the hope that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, will visit and bring good fortune and blessings to the family. Prayers are offered for her, asking for her blessings in the form of wealth. By itself, Rangoli designs are created at the entrance of the house, not only to welcome the guests that visit, but also the goddess herself.

There was also a legend in the earliest Indian theory of painting. When the son of a King’s high priest died, Brahma, Lord of the universe, asked the king to paint the likeness of the boy so that Brahma could breathe life into him again. This is how it is believed that the first painting was made. Another popular story is that God, in one of his creative episodes, extracted the juice from one of the mango trees as paint, and drew the figure of a woman so beautiful that it put the heavenly maidens to shame.

Popular Rangoli Designs

These are just some of the most popular and stunning modern rangoli designs:

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Flower Rangoli: Rangoli design that is made of out flower petals in different colors. Marigolds in different colors and lotus buds as well as other colored flower petals are used to make a beautiful design

Whirlwind Rangoli: This design has different colored flower rangoli petals. The colors used to this design are very striking and catch your attention easily.

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Peacock Rangoli: Rangoli design that shows a peacock and its feathers. It is a unique thought and the design is quite complex.

Lakshmi Rangoli: Rangoli design for celebration of Laxmi Puja. The symbols related to the deity – the ‘Kalas’ and the ‘Lotus flower’ are used to make the design more appropriate for the occasion.

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Rangoli Kolam: Rangoli design for kolam festivals. There are contrasting colors used like green, blue and yellow which further enhance the look.

Rangoli design with Diyas. This design uses mainly geometric patterns and shapes, and can be done by those with less experience.

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Diwali rangoli design. This design is loaded of bright shades which are sure to lift mood and make the house look all the more colorful. The bright shades used include red, orange, pink, yellow, green and black.

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Round Rangoli: Rangoli design with round spiral shapes of different colors. The use of differentcolours to differentiate each circle is quite unique and this one is easy enough for anyone to accomplish.

Holi Rangoli: Rangoli design for holi. Holi is a festival of colors and what better way to celebrate the spirit ofcolour than doing some beautiful and colorful rangoli at your home.

10 Clever and Unique Birthday Card Ideas

Getting tired of the usual printed birthday cards that you can buy in your local bookstores? Want to make it different this time? Well, maybe it is really a perfect time to think outside the box and try some new ideas for birthday cards. With today’s technology, finding unique and out-of-this-world ideas for card became so easy. All you need is to browse for inspiration, there’s a lot of ideas in the world wide web, waiting for you to explore

Some of the funniest birthday cards that we come across with are the witty ones that doesn’t say much but have impressive one liners. No matter how simple you card would get, it will be one for keeps. So if you want to give your dearest something unique and humorous, here are some of witty and clever birthday card ideas that you may consider.

Pants Pocket Birthday Card

This card will be a breath of fresh air from other cards as it has a more unique design by looking like a pair of pants. And it also helps that there is cash stashed inside one of the back pockets. It’s quite easy to make. All you need are pattern, scissors, card stocks, glue, marker and voila! You can have this unique and brilliant birthday greetings.

ATM Machine Card

It will certainly be delightful to get your very own ATM machine on your birthday. This funny and amusing birthday card will surely cheer up anyone on their birthday. Aside from the monetary gift that you can give through this card idea, your celebrant will surely have a kick for this almost genius idea! No need to worry about wrapping a gift. At the end of the money stash, include a note where you can write your birthday messages for your recipient.

Piggy Bank Card

Via: Etsy

Via: Etsy

Not only are piggy banks cute, they are very practical as well. And they can make very cute birthday card ideas as they will surely delight the celebrant with their surprise. You just need a card stock, piggy cut-out pattern, marker and glue. Make it even more realistic by adding a googly eye on it. Insert your cash on the “insert here” slot of the piggy bank and voila! You’ve got this ultra-thrifty card for your birthday celebrant.

Spectacle Card

Via: Etsy

Via: Etsy

Nerds and geeks are cool and this simple, funny birthday card is a testament to that. Since the card is also very simple, you can write a very long birthday message as it wouldn’t look cluttered. Don’t forget to include the “icon” of nerds, the square-rimmed glasses in front of your card.

Cat Birthday Card

For cat lovers, they will love the pun intended in this all too adorable cat birthday card. To get this one, all you need is a printed image of a funny cat, insert your pun intended birthday wishes and there you have it! You may add other birthday elements such as party hats, balloons, etc.

Minion Birthday Card

These sweet and adorable minions never fail to make people smile and feel better. They always seem to have the best things to say especially on birthdays. This tri-color birthday wishes is surely a hit for your celebrant, especially for teens and tweens. You just need yellow card stock, black lettering, cut outs, scissors, marker and glue.

Candle Light Card

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People are allowed to be cheesy once in a while especially during birthdays. So say what you want to say to your special someone on his or her special day with this birthday card. Grab small candles, glue it on your birthday card and write birthday greetings like “you light up my life”, happy birthday!

Latte Card

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Life is always better with coffee. Even when you are late for something, coffee makes everything okay. This humurous birthday card is perfect for those who love coffee, especially Fivebucks, errrr, is that “Starbucks?. Anyway, like I’m saying this is good for coffee lovers. Don’t forget to write your funny birthday wishes on your card.

Pop-up Card

Give your birthday card a surprise element. It is something that will surprise, then give delight, to your recipient. In this card, there are banners and cut-outs of birthday elements that when you open the card, will be popped up.

Button Snails Card

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Looking for ideas on how to use those useless buttons in your sewing box? Why don’t you use it for your next handmade birthday card. In this idea, buttons are used and created the image of snails. This cute little buttons turned into something useful in this birthday card.