Rangoli is a traditional “sand painting” Hindu craft, which is particularly prevalent in South India. Particularly on special occasions or during festivals (especially Diwali), designs are made at the doorway and in front of the house as a symbol of welcome to the Goddess Lakshmi, who brings good luck and prosperity. At Sangam, rangoli is often used to decorate around a plate or banana leaf when enjoying a meal seated in the traditional manner – on the floor. The name rangoli comes from the words rang (color) and aavalli ('colored creepers' or 'row of colors'). Originally rangoli powder was made from rice husks. Although very traditional people still use rice, white and colored chalk-type powder is often used today.
To make the design, the powder is rubbed between the thumb and middle finger whilst the hand is in motion, forming the desired picture/pattern.