Rangoli and Toran in Diwali – Origin and Significance

Diwali Decorated House using rangoli and toran

Rangoli and Toran are an integral part of Diwali celebrations in India. They are beautiful decorations that adorn homes and public spaces, adding to the festive atmosphere. Rangoli is a form of art that involves creating intricate patterns and designs using colorful powders, while Toran is a decorative piece that is hung on doors and windows.

Rangoli in Diwali

Rangoli is a popular tradition in India, especially during festivals. It is an art form that has been practiced for centuries and is a way of welcoming guests and honoring gods and goddesses. Rangoli is made using various materials such as colored powder, flowers, rice flour, and even sand. Some common names for Rangoli are Alpana (West Bengal), Joti (Orissa), Chouk Purna (Chattisgarh), Sanskara Bharati (Maharastra), and Kolam (Tamil Nadu).

The word Rangoli is derived from two words – ‘rang’ which means color and ‘aavalli’ which means rows or lines. Rangoli patterns are created by hand, and there are many different types of designs, some of which are inspired by nature such as flowers, leaves, and animals. Other designs are more abstract and geometric in nature.

Significance of Rangoli Making in Diwali

Rangoli is an excellent way to add beauty to any celebration, and Diwali is no exception. During Diwali, Rangoli is created in front of homes as a way of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The Rangoli design is usually made with rice flour, which is colored with natural colors such as turmeric, vermillion, and indigo. Some significance of rangoli are:

  • The colors used in Rangoli are believed to have healing properties, and the act of creating Rangoli is considered to be a form of meditation.
  • It is believed to bring positivity and happiness to the home and the people who live in it.
  • Creating Rangoli is not just about skill; it makes a creator creative and imaginative.
  • Rangoli is tradition that are passed down from generation to generation, with each generation adding their unique touch to the art form and preserve traditional values.

Story Behind Origin of Rangoli

Lopamudra was the wife of a holy man Agastya Rishi. They lived in a quiet place far from others and were known as hermits. Lopamudra wanted to help her husband honor the gods, so she made pretty decorations called rangoli for their worship place, called Yagyakunda.

She asked nature’s five elements (sky, wind, water, earth, and fire) to give her colors. She collected blue from the sky, green from the water, black from the ground, red from fire, and white from the wind. Then, Lopamudra made beautiful rangoli designs by mixing these colors with ground rice, lentils, flowers, and spices.

The other story is when Maa Sita fell in love with Lord Rama, she used some rice powder and mixed it with water. Using that paste she made a rangoli and prayed to Maa Gauri for granting Lord Rama as her husband. There is also a story about Rukmini (Lord Krishna’s wife) who started making Rangoli when they settled in Dwarka. So in Gujarat, Rangoli is called ‘Satiya’ as of partner of Rukmini.

Toran in Diwali

Toran is another popular decoration in India, especially during festivals such as Diwali. A Toran is a decorative piece that is hung on doors and windows to welcome guests. It is usually made of flowers, leaves, or beads and comes in various shapes and sizes. Some common names of Toran are Bandanwal and Thoranam (Tamil Nadu).

The reference to Torana is found in Puranas like Rudra Samhita. The word ‘Toran’ was mentioned while mentioning about the city of god Kamarupa, the residence of Goddess Chandika, and describing Himavatpura City. Apart from this, Vastushastra and Jyotishastra consider Toran as an important consideration.

The word Toran is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘torana’ which means a gateway. Torans were traditionally made of mango leaves, which are considered to be auspicious in Hinduism. The leaves are strung together to make a garland, which is then hung at the entrance of the home.

Toran in Diwali and Tihar

Significance of Hanging Torans in Diwali

Over time, Torans have evolved to include various materials such as flowers, beads, and ribbons. They come in different colors and designs, and each design has its unique significance. It’s significance are:

  • Torans made of marigold flowers are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
  • They are used to ward off evil and bring good fortune to the home.
  • They are used during auspicious occasions such as festivals, weddings and baby showers to bring blessings to the family.

Diwali is a festival of light and color, and Rangoli and Toran add to the vibrancy of the celebration. Rangoli is a beautiful art form that brings together creativity and imagination. It is a way of welcoming prosperity and positivity into the home. Toran, on the other hand, is a symbol of hospitality and welcome. It is an excellent decoration that adds beauty and elegance to the home while also bringing blessings and good fortune.

Together, Rangoli and Toran form an essential part of Diwali celebrations. They are a way of connecting with tradition and culture, while also infusing the festival with color and beauty. Both creating Rangoli and hanging a Toran is a way of expressing love, warmth, and hospitality, making Diwali a memorable and joyous occasion.