It's that time of the year again when I make my rounds to the local malls to photograph kolams for the Deepawali/Diwali festival.
* Deepavali/Diwali also known as the Festival of Lights is celebrated by the Hindu Community to symbolize the triumph of good over evil; the victory of light over dark.
The entrances to Hindu homes are decorated with fresh mango leaves and kolams. It is believed that Lakshmi, The Goddess of Wealth, will only enter a home that is adorned with a kolam.
* Kolam is an ancient Indian art of drawing using colored rice grains or powdered rice to form symmetrical geometric patterns on the floor. The Hindus believe that a kolam at the entrance of a house will usher prosperity and harmony to the home. It is also believed that a kolam wards off evil spirits and diseases.
Another purpose of the kolam is to invite birds and small insects like ants to a home to symbolize man’s co-existence with and consideration for other living things.
Traditionally, the ritual is performed daily by the women of a household early in the morning.
Fun Kolam Facts
1. The lines in a kolam must be continuous and unbroken so that evil cannot enter the house via the gaps.
2. The patterns are traditionally passed on from mothers to their daughters.
3. Kolam in the Tamil language means form and beauty.
4. As the kolam erases during the course of the day by birds and insects feeding on the rice, people's foot steps and the natural elements, a new kolam is drawn again the next morning, thus repeating the cycle. It imparts the idea that life is renewed daily.
Happy Deepavali to all my Hindu pallies!