Kolam walkabout

Last week I went on a long walk around my neighborhood.  I took along my camera and spotted some pretty nice kolams.  I hadn’t seen such elaborate ones before and was so happy when I stumbled across these.  Remember, I talked about them a while back.

You can see a lot of repetition in the kinds of things that are drawn.  Flowers, leaves, nature, trees.  Some of the kolams seen below feature fire and pot shapes.  Pongal in Tamil means “to boil”. Boiling over of milk in the clay pot is believed to symbolize future wishes for the family.  The first day of Pongal, Tamils burn old clothes and some other objects. This is a symbol of destroying old and starting new one.  The second day of the festival people decorate cows and boil rice with fresh milk  in new pots. Some add sweetness and nuts, everything should boil over the pot. It is a good sign, symbol of future prosperity.

On the third day people go out and visit each other and celebrate.

You can see that some people are using stencils, and many have colors.  You can also see that some may use special tools to create the patterns, while others are more free form.  It’s truly amazing to walk down a road and see these traditional drawings everywhere on any given day.  But these ones pictured here are certainly more elaborate than I had ever seen before.

Here’s what I saw:



The day there were no cars.


Strolling for kolam.


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