Rangoli, also known as kolam or muggu is a folk art from India. It is usually made during Diwali, Onam, Pongal and other Indian festivals. Typically consisting of bright colors, rangoli is a decorative design made in living rooms and courtyard floors during Hindu festivals . They are meant to be sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities. The ancient symbols have been passed down through the ages, from each generation to the next, keeping both the art form and the tradition alive. The patterns are typically created with materials including colored rice, dry flour, (colored) sand or even flower petals. Similar practices are followed in different Indian states: in Tamil Nadu, there is Kolam in Tamil Nadu; Mandana in Rajasthan; Chowkpurna in Northern India; Alpana in West Bengal; Aripana in Bihar; Chowk pujan in Uttar Pradesh; Muggu in Andhra Pradesh and others.
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 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 granulated rice or dry flour, to which sindoor (vermilion), haldi (turmeric) and other natural colors can be added. Chemical colors are a modern variation. Other materials include colored sand and even flowers and petals, as in the case of flower rangolis.