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  Festoon (Toranam)
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Decorating the main door of the houses, temples or any other place, where some ritual is performed, with a festoon (Toranam or a string of mango leaves) is part of the Indian culture. Normally, this kind of decoration is done during festivals or celebrations. Though there is a scientific reason behind this festoon decoration, this has become a part of the tradition and majority does not even bother to know the actual reason behind doing so.

Indians use a
festoon made of fresh and green mango leaves. However, leaves of other species like Neem are also used for this purpose. Most of us know that the green leaves absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This helps in keeping the surrounding atmosphere clean and hygienic. Keeping, the aesthetics in view, mango leaves are preferred, since their shape adds to the ambience.

However, all other advantages of having a festoon revolve around this basic reason. According to a theory, the air filled with carbon dioxide, which is lighter than the pure air, gets purified immediately while passing through the festoon. In addition, insects get attracted to the green leaves. This stops the insects from entering the room.

This practice of decorating the main door with the festoon is supported by a strong scientific reasoning and is certainly not a blind belief. Any body, who has minimum knowledge of science, understands the value of green leaves and same is the case with any body who has minimum aesthetic sense.

However, it is said, in the Indian villages, dry mango leaves are used for treating certain ailments. The ash of dry mango leaves is used in the first aid for cuts and fresh wounds. This ash is applied directly on the wound or after mixing it with coconut oil. Dry mango leaves’ ash has the capacity to check the bleeding. The dry leaves in the festoon come handy for providing first aid in such cases.

It is also a scientifically established fact that the green colour keeps a person mentally fresh and even the modern day medicine advises the modern day man, who comes under severe stress during his normal working hours, to spend some time amidst greenery to freshen his mind and soul. A festoon provides this facility at your doorsteps.

Even this is an age-old practice in every house according to the Hindu culture and tradition. Applying Turmeric on the threshold is as important as having bath in every Indian house. Again, every one knows the reason. But the modern Indian has a habit of ridiculing all such practices and branding them as blind beliefs or meaningless practices.

It is beyond doubt that turmeric has anti-septic characters. It is an anti-bacterial too. While the green festoon hanging on the top of the main door frame stops insects and other visible but small flying objects from entering the room, turmeric applied on the door sill stops bacteria or other microscopic organisms from making their way into the house. Turmeric checks every invisible organism.

In addition, the yellow color makes the main door colorful and is an aesthetic combination for the green festoon on the top of the doorframe.

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