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The forgotten tradition of Rath Mandana on festivals dedicated to Sun God
Earlier, the traditional mandana or wall painting made on the festival related to the Sun God in Hinduism to begin the day was common.

Today, it is Chhath Puja festival which is dedicated to Sun God in which both the rising and the setting sun are worshipped for is benevolence that sustains life on the Earth. However, the tradition of beginning the day with drawing of related Rath Mandana has almost disappeared.

Often, a chariot wall painting or rath mandana was made on the occasion that depicted the sun in the centre as if riding the chariot as a thanks giving gesture to the deity. The depiction was in white chalk drawing on the wall or rice powder rangoli on the threshold of the house.

The chariot mandana rangoli designs that had the sun at centre varied in decoration through a combination of dots and lines to maintain a simple traditional look. Since mandana is two-dimension line drawing or design, it showed either one or two wheels in the chariot.

Both during Chhath Puja in the north and Pongal festival in South India – the festivals dedicated to the Sun God – rath mandana or rangoli was popular.

However, during Pongal, South Indians still draw Rath Rangoli for worshipping the sun, but the tradition of Rath Mandana has almost disappeared in North India.

The inset picture shows a simple Rath Mandana done on the festivals dedicated to Sun God. The drawing of such mandana was considered as the auspicious beginning of the festival since artwork is related to feelings and emotions or inner expressions.

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