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Aripana Rangoli: An art form practiced in Bihar on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja
India is a country full of festivals and rituals which mark the beginning of festivities. Making rangolis or floor paintings is considered auspicious to begin festivals.

Bihari rangoli is called Aripana in which brushes are not used but lines and patterns are made on the floor of homes using rice powder or stone powder colours with patterns and motifs appropriate for the festival.

Currently, four-day Chhath Puja is being observed. However, in the cities and towns of Bihar, the tradition of Aripana on Chhath has almost disappeared. However, in interior villages of Bihar, Apirana tradition continues to mark the festival day auspiciously.

In Jaipur, since there are a lot of labourers and rickshaw pullers from Bihar, I spoke to one middle-aged rickshaw puller to enquire about Aripana rangoli. He recalled that on Diwali and Chhath Puja, his mother used to make Apirana rangoli with rice powder. He told that during these two festivals Diya motif was a part of rangoli.

But, during Chhath Puja, the geometric designs of hexagons and parallelograms with the Sun in the center is often used.

On the two sides of the rangoli design, his mother used to make a window or chhaj with a carrot representing offering of 'argha' and a tilted lotta with water coming out of it as a symbol of water offering to the Sun God, he told.

He tried to draw the rangoli design on the soil by the roadside. However, he messed up with the positions of the parallelograms around the hexagon.

My research on hexagon rangoli led to the balance in designing with two interior parallelograms and the rest as exterior ones. Here, in the inset picture, the re-construction of Chhath Aripana is given.

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