I was recently commissioned to create a large rangoli for the city of Vancouver's celebration of Diwali. Vancouver's Vandiwali is the South Asian arts and culture festival that brings together people of all backgrounds to celebrate Indian New Year. Diwali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", is the triumph of light over darkness. Celebrated thru out South Asia, people light clay lamps, create rangoli, decorate their houses, enjoy wonderful feasts, and celebrate with dance, music, and storytelling.
People give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray to the goddess Lakshmi for her blessings of prosperity and protection in the year ahead.
What is rangoli? It is a sacred art form done by women of all ages thru out India. Auspicious symbols that have been passed down thru the generations, are drawn inside and outside the home to welcome the blessings of the deities. Rice flour is traditionally used to render these geometric and floral designs at the entrance to the home or in the family courtyard.
The Vancouver Diwali Celebration Society has created a beautiful time lapse video of the whole process of making this large 28' rangoli. With the support of many volunteers, 250 lbs of rice were dyed so that participants could "paint" the rangoli during the 6 hour arts and cultural event at The Roundhouse.