Dotted kolam - 9 x 1 dot grid. Wishing all a very happy Navrathri!
Some of the well known temples in India initiate a procession with the devotees and the temple chariot also called the rath in the festival season.
Idols of gods are placed in large chariots or raths which are drawn by the pilgrims. The chariots are approximately 45 feet high and have six wheels. Each year, the rath yatra (procession) draws huge number of devotees from all over the country.
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Maattu Pongal is a harvest festival honoring bulls and cows. The farmer cultivating his land depends on bulls, timely rain and the Sun. On this day, the cows and bulls are bathed, adorned with flower garlands and their horns are painted colorfully. Tinkling bells are tied around their neck and they are fed special dishes prepared that day. Bull fights called 'Jallikattu' are also arranged at some places, where young men have to take off the money pouches tied to the horns of ferocious bulls single handed. Another game called "Manji Virattu" is also arranged this day which is basically a cattle race where young men chase ferociously running bulls!
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Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is celebrated by the hindus world-wide. The word "Deepa" means "light" and "avali" means "a row", which makes Deepavali the "festival of light". Traditional Rangoli motifs adorn the frontyards and entryways of every house. People light earthen lamps called "diya" on this day and thank Goddess Lakshmi for the wealth and happiness that she has bestowed upon them. On this day, people visit friends and relatives and also exchange gifts and sweets. Diwali teaches us to drive away the ignorance, the darkness around us and to uphold the true values of life. This Rangoli pattern shown here is an example for anyone who wants to make a Rangoli. After the outlines are drawn, the rangoli is colored with bright powdered dyes/colored sand.