Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is one of the most popular festivals in South Asia. The Indian diaspora celebrates Diwali, too, taking part in traditions for this major event. Celebrations span over five days with plenty of ways to commemorate the holiday no matter where you are.

One very popular way to celebrate Diwali is by making Rangoli designs. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to inspire you to get into the Diwali spirit this year with your own designs.

What is rangoli?

Rangoli is a traditional form of art originating in India. Colorful patterns are created on the floor using different materials, such as ground rice powder, flowers, diyas, or special colored powders.

Rangoli is also known as kolam, ossa, muggu or alpona in different areas of India. These designs are also created for other holidays and events, such as festivals or weddings.

Rangoli art is an important part of celebrating Diwali. The design of each piece has religious or special significance chosen by the artist, and they are often an heirloom passed down over generations.

With Diwali upon us already, what better time to create your own Rangoli art? Even if you’ve never done so before, it can be quite doable with a plan in hand.

Photo of Rangoli design

How to create your own Rangoli art for Diwali

To make these beautiful works of art, all you need to do is choose your materials, select your design, and start creating.

Choose your materials 

First, decide what materials you will use for your Rangoli design.

Many people use pigment powders especially created and sold for making Rangoli art, but you could also use flower petals, sand, rice powder and/or paste stone or brick powder, or chalk.

Grains and beads can also be gathered to use along borders and provide a 3-D effect. Diyas or candles are usually included in some part of the design.  

Since rangoli is found in homes of all income levels, people improvise and use what they have on hand.

Select your Rangoli design and significance

Next, decide what the shape of your rangoli will be and its significance.

If you are not re-creating a family design, you have a range of options for your artistic expression.

You may want to choose a deity impression, a simple geometric shape, a flower, or even an animal.  Decide whether you’re able to create the design free-hand, or need to create a stencil impression to work from.

Photos to inspire your own Rangoli design

Artists everywhere are sharing their designs. Check out some of these photos for inspiration as you get to work.

Here’s a stunning Rangoli design featuring a peacock:

This slideshow displays rangoli that use a variety of different materials:

Tutorials to help make your Rangoli 

You can find great online tutorials for easy Rangoli designs that require only a few simple household tools and materials.

This one, for example, was made using bottle caps for the rounded shapes.

This beautiful and easy-to-make rangoli uses bowls from the kitchen:

And this simple rangoli uses real flowers and leaves:

Creating your own rangoli

With so much variety in designs and many options for materials, the creativity is endless.

We’d love to see the Rangoli designs that you or your family make this season.

Sending Money Home with Remitly

With Remitly’s app, it’s easy to send money to India, Fiji, Malaysia, and many other countries celebrating at this time of year.

We understand that even from far away, you want to stay close to family and friends during special occasions. Remitly can help.

We’re here when you need to send money home easily and safely. Find out more at our homepage or download the app today.


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