Kolam is another name for Rangoli, its mainly drawn mainly during Onum. Kolam is an auspicious art of decorating courtyards and houses, hand drawn mainly by women and girls. Rice flour or sandstone powder is used to make rangolis.

Onam is the state festival of Kerala. On the occasion of Onam, Pookalam is made in most of the Malayalee homes. It is basically a colorful arrangement of flowers on the floor. Flowers are used on each day, as a particular flower is dedicated to each day of Onam. Beautiful motifs are made using these flowers along with naturally derived colors and cowdung.

It is a ten days long festival in which the tenth day, the day of ‘Tiruvonam’ is considered extremely auspicious and fortunate. Malayalee families all over the world celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and gusto.

They decorate their home with flowers and torans. The most important part of Onam celebrations is the ‘Onam Kolam’ or the ‘Pookalam’. Pookalam is very similar to Rangoli; in fact it can be termed as form of Rangoli. ‘Poo’ means ‘flower’ and ‘Kalam’ means artwork.

Making of Pookalam:
First of the entire floor is cleaned and all the dust is wiped out. Then, cow dung is spread over the entire area where the Pookalam is to be made. Once the cow dung is evenly spread, motifs on it are made using the hairline bamboo sticks or any pin like material. Generally, the Pookalam is made in ten rings, each representing a ‘God’. The flowers are then filled into the pattern made on the cowndung.
Flowers that are commonly used in Pookalam include Thumba, Kakka Poovu, Thechipoovu, Mukkutti, Chemparathy, Aripoo or Konginipoo, Hanuman Kireedom and Chethi . Of all these flowers, Thumba flowers are considered the best as they are small in size and glitter in the soft rays of the sun. The design of the Pookolam can be simple or intricate depending upon the choice of the designer. It is generally made at the entrance or veranda of the home.

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