Thoranam or toran for decoration

One of the most environment friendly decorations that we can do is making thoranam or toran from coconut fronds.  Unlike other festoons that are made from man-made materials the coconut offered by nature is bio-degradable! and so it is eco-friendly.  Also, it is easy to work with it to form patterns for decoration.  The colour  - light yellowish also makes it suitable for this purpose

Thoranam is important in the decoration of mantap for Ganesh Puja and Varalakshmi Vratham ( or Pooja ) and for the decoration of the entrance of houses for auspicious occasions like house warming. We also use it for festivals like Navratri, Diwali ( aka Deepavali in Tamil Nadu ).  While it is easy to purchase one or two pairs from the market, occasionally we can also try to make one or two pairs. So making a thoranm finds a place in Rangoli-sans-dots.  Now that the festival season starts in a few days in India, I thought this would be the appropriate time to add it here.  There is already a video showing me making a thoranam in my YouTube channel Rangolisansdots.  Here some photos taken from the video showing important steps in making this rather simple decoration.  However, simple when we do it ourselves, it gives us a lot of satisfaction.

Take a coconut frond and cut both sides of the midrib for a length of 25 to 30 cm so that that portion of the frond becomes long and thin.  This portion is used for tying a pair of thoranam to facilitate hanging the thoranam at the entrance.

In the image below shows one element of the thoranam formed already.  This and the other images below show the steps for making the thoranam. As shown in the photo below cut the frond on both sides of the mid rib. Fold the cut portion of the frond on the right to the left as shown.

Now take the cut portion of the frond on the left to the right from behind the mid rib as shown in the image below. There should a reasonable distance between any two elements of the thoranam.  This is to be decided based on the size of the element that is formed.

After bringing it around from behind the mid rib insert it in the part of the frond on the right that is folded on the left!.  Pull both ends extending on both sides of the mid rib to get the completed element of the thoranam.

Now press the thoranam gently to flatten the elements as much as possible.  Repeat the process till we get as many elements as we want.  The length of the thoranam depends upon where we want to use it.  If is for a mantap for festivals like Varalakshmi Vratham or Ganpathi Puja (Pillayar Chaturthi in Tamil Nadu ) the number of elements will be less.  If we want to hang it on both sides of a Puja room or at the entrance it can be longer.  The thin long mid rib that is left at one end as discussed at the beginning is used to tie two thoranams i.e two thoranams are taken and the long mid rib portions at one end ( at the top ) are tied to form a knot so that we can hang it from a nail.  Two such thoranam are hung on either side of the door way or mantap. Though it is a very simple craft idea for a decoration for Puja it actually enhances the beauty of a mantap or entrance. I invariably use it on both sides of the Puja mantap and also on both sides of the main entrance.

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