The last 4 days marked Pongal, a celebration of harvest and prosperity. Simple everyday kolam's were replaced by intricate and colourful geometric patterns. Though of course it's always fun to spot urban symbols like ducks and hearts in our modern-day kolams! :) I'm used to calling this Rangoli, however the tradition of drawing kolams in front of your home every morning is mostly South Indian. It's not just decoration. Kolam's signify welcoming, harmony and prosperity.
Kolams are drawn first thing in the morning by women, and in some cases the kids of the house. In my experience, the bigger and more elaborate, the better :) At first I avoided stepping on them, but its pretty much impossible because they cover half the street on most days. The whole point is that it fades and smudges over time, only to be redrawn the next day.