My next door neighbours are Hindus and today they celebrate Deepavali, the festival of lights. When I went out this morning, I noticed that they had a traditional kolam. This is not the colourful type
with intricate patterns. Instead it has a simple floral design made from rice flour with a candle in the middle.
The Hindus will usually draw a kolam at the entrance of a house or any building. The female members of the house are the ones who usually draw Kolam designs in front of their homes, with the help of rice powder. Limestone and red brick powder are also used on special occasions. Kolam is regarded as a sort of painted prayer in South India.
The purpose of drawing kolams is not merely for decoration. Kolam drawing has several social, spiritual andsymbolic meanings attached to it. Those who practice this believe that drawing kolam purify the entrance space and this in turn will invite the goddess of wealth Laxmi to enter the house. The Hindus believe that this would give the residents wealth and prosperity luck.