Sankranti is a time for Celebrations. Its a time for harvest and a time for feasts. In many of the rural areas where Indian Culture still thrives, unencumbered by western influences, this is a time for the young girls and women to show off their creative skills by drawing elaborate patterns on streets with a special mix of limestone and rice powder.
These elaborate patterns are of 2 broad varieties. Rangavallika (Colorful Rangoli) or Geetala Muggulu (Line Rangoli or Kolam) are unique to this season which lasts for a month between Mid-December through Mid-January and ends with Grand Festival of Sankranti. During this period, the entrance of every home is decorated with huge Rangoli. In addition to colorful rangoli, we also decorate our homes with Geetala Muggulu or a combination of both.
Even though they look like just lines, each rangoli has a significance that symbolizes the season of Pongal. In the last day of the Pongal called Kanuma, we put Chariot rangoli. Putting line rangoli for sankranti is one of the most unique and beautiful tradition of South India.
Here I drew some of the Line Rangoli that I remembered from childhood to share our tradition with you all. My mother used to put even more line rangoli when we were kids. If you remember any of your own patterns, please do share them with us and help preserve our tradition of Sankranti.
Note: All through the season, from day 1 until Pongal, it’s a tradition to put the main harvest rangoli daily. Remaining rangoli are optional. The Moon in the main harvest rangoli should always face East as shown in the picture. The main pongal rangoli and tortoise rangoli can also be drawn in a more simplified way without loosing the significance. I will post it tomorrow.
Happy Sankranti 🙂
Finally on the day of Kanuma, the 3rd day of the festival, we close the 4 corners of the main pongal rangoli symbolizing the completion of the festival. We also put Chariot rangoli symbolizing the transition in the direction of the sun.