Janmashtami, a loved festival of Hindus that mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is celebrated on the Ashtami tithi, i.e. the eight day of the dark half in the month of Shravana as per Hindu calendar, mid-August to mid-September according to Gregorian calendar. Lord Krishna is considered to be the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Gokulashtami, Krishnasthami, Srijayanti; this festival is one of the biggest religious festivals in the world. At the time of this festival, devotees from all across the world drop in at the places where Krishna spent his childhood, Mathura and Vrindavan. These sacred places indeed provide you with serene environment and add on to the pleasure of the festival of Janmashtami. People decorate their homes and temples and sing prayers in the praise of the lord. The priests chant mantras and devotional songs, amidst that they bath the idol of Krishna with Panchamrit that contains Gangajal, Milk, Ghee, Curd and Honey. Then the infant idol of Krishna, Balgopal is cleaned, who after sacred bath is placed in a decked up cradle. On this day colourful and beautiful rangolis are made to welcome God, as it is considered auspicious.
An important part of this Hindu festival of Janmashtami is Rangoli, also known as kolam is made to welcome Krishna. The houses are decorated wonderfully, and are kept neat and tidy. People on this day make intricate rangoli designs on their entrances. Since rangoli is considered auspicious to greet the God, it therefore becomes an essential part of the decorations.
Designs of Rangoli
Since the practice of making rangolis on this festival is ancient, the designs that are picked to make kolam on Krishna janmashtami are related to nature. Generally birds, fruits, flowers add on to make a beautiful rangoli. Dyes and colours used in the making of Rangoli are natural ones these days. Home-made colours are used instead of synthetic dyes. Edible items such as turmeric powder, rice flour are used to draw rangoli designs.
Making of Rangoli
Making of neat rangolis is undoubtedly the work of skill and practise. It of course is wonderful to see South Indians draw intricate Kolams on every festival. Rangoli on Janamashtmi is the beautiful way to welcome Lord Krishna in the finest way. People decorate their entrances; make foot marks that signify Krishna entering the house on this auspicious occasion. Made with natural colours, use of rice flour and water, turmeric, etc, a particular design is mentally made before it appears on the floor. Starting point of Rangoli is a small dot and then extended using geometrical shapes such as oval, triangle, and hexagon or may be even pentagon. And with the increase in practice one gains expertise to easily draw the images of peacock and animals etc.