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Picture of how to draw a grid rangoli by hand
Rangoli is an ancient Indian folk art form. It is made to decorate the front doorstep of an Indian home and welcome the guest in.

Step 1: Choosing a space

Picture of Choosing a space
Make sure that the space you choose is not in the way of pedestarians; the best place is right next to the wall of your home. It is also important to choose a space that has a dark floor with an even texture so that the rangoli stands out and the lines are clean and sharp.
 
insomniaSAH4 years ago
When i was an active trick-or-treater (I don't think I'm 'too old' but I do go to a halloween rave/all night party every year instead of begging for candy now :p) I'd see these on the porch of indian families during halloween.

Are these important for a specific holiday?
peppercrow (author)  insomniaSAH4 years ago
Rangoli powder (or Rangoli) is made from rice flour as it is considered auspicious. Sometimes food colouring is used to add a dash of colour to the rangoli.
Apart from that, rangolis are also made using Abhir which is a type of dry color powder used during the festival of colours called Holi.
Now a days, even white and colored chalk powder or powdered white granite is used as it is convenient.

Most traditional Indian households living in the lesser developed parts of the city or suburbs and all households in rural India have rangoli outside their homes everyday. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights sees a lot of rangoli everywhere, some even with oil lamps and flowers.
Ah! Thanks for being so informative! That certainly explains a lot.
insomniaSAH4 years ago
Also, what /is/ rangoli? Chalk? Cornmeal?