Pookkalam is an intricate and colourful arrangement of flowers laid on the floor. Tradition of laying the Pookkalam is extremely popular in Kerala and is followed as a ritual in every household during the ten-day-long Onam celebrations.
'Pookkalam' consists of two words; 'poov' meaning flower and 'kalam' meaning patterns or designs. It is considered auspicious to prepare Pookkalam during the festival of Onam. People believe that the spirit of their ancient King Mahabali visits Kerala during the time of Onam.
Various flowers are used on each day as a specific flower is dedicated to each day of Onam. Commonly used flowers include Thumba (Lucas Aspera), Kakka Poovu, Thechipoovu, Mukkutti (little tree plant), Chemparathy (shoe flower), Aripoo or Konginipoo (Lantana), Hanuman Kireedom (Red pagoda plant) and Chethi (Ixora). Of all these flowers, Thumba flowers are given more importance in Pookkalam as they are small in size and glitter in the soft rays of the sun. 'Thumba Poo' is also considered to be the favourite flower of Lord Shiva and King Mahabali was a devout worshipper of Shiva.
Making of the Pookkalam is itself a colourful and joyous event. Being a team effort, it helps to generate a feeling of togetherness and goodwill amongst the people.


Rangoli is an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It is usually made during Hindu festivals in the Indian subcontinent. Designs are passed from one generation to the next, keeping both the art form and the tradition alive.
The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore, and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by girls or women. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations and other similar milestones and gatherings.
Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, or flower and petal shapes (appropriate for the given celebrations), but they can also be very elaborate designs crafted by numerous people. There are two primary ways to make a Rangoli, depending on the materials that are used to create the outline and fill it: dry and wet. Using a white material like chalk, sand, paint or flour, the artist marks a centre-point on the ground and cardinal points around it, usually in a square, hexagon or circle depending on the region and personal preference. Expanding that initially-simple pattern creates an intricate and beautiful design. Motifs from nature (leaves, petals, feathers) and geometric patterns are common. Less common but by no means rare are representational forms (like a peacock, icon or landscape).