- Illumination and Rangoli
Illumination and Rangoli are festivals unique to
IIT Kharagpur. Although technically different, they are celebrated in parallel on the eve of Diwali.
It is celebrated and inspired from the day of
Diwali, the festival of lights and is usually held on the day of Diwali itself unless the climate is unsuitable to hold the event. It is organized in a competitive environment, with all the halls fighting for the prestigious prize. As a part of the competition, all halls build vertical panels of bamboo (called "Chatais") on which thousands of lamps ("diyas") are mounted forming outlines of people/things that illustrate an event or a place of importance. The "chatais" are sometimes even of the order of 20 feet in height, and overall some 20,000 lamps are lighted. When lighted during the night with all other light sources switched off, the result is a breath-taking display, made lively by the flickering light of the lamps. Traditionally, themes from Ramayanand Mahabharatepics have been popular choice for it, though themes unrelated to these epics like famous personalities and monuments of Indiahave also been chosen in the past.
The preparations for the Illumination Festival start at least a month before the day of the event. First a team of selected people in each hall decides on the theme they will be working on. This is kept secret till the day of the event. Then, the group works out the number of chatais and the sketch to be made on them. Based on the these, materials required for the festival are bought from the local market. These include the chatais (made of bamboo), the diyas, the steel wires for tying the diyas to the panels, the oil for the diyas and the first aid kit.
The layout of diyas on the chatais is first marked on the ground by using a chalk and then copied onto the chatais by placing them over the chalk marks and marking it on them using black paint. Then the chatais are erected either directly onto the location of display or temporarily elsewhere. Here, the work on chatai starts which lead to the final display one month later.
On these chatais, a lot of students start working in parallel. Usually the second year students are employed to the greatest extent in the senior halls, while the seniors guide them and at the same time help them with the work. For the next one month, nearly 100 students from each hall work on their set of panels (chatais). The work on the chatias usually begins after dinner around 9 pm and goes on until early morning (around 5 am). Work goes on round the clock on weekends.
On the day of the event, almost the whole hall is given the responsibility of setting up the chatais and lighting them. Several tables are stacked one over the other to reach to the highest lamp. Sometimes the levels of tables reach around 7 for big chatais.
During the evening, a panel of judges make rounds from one hall to the other judging them on the basis of the evaluation criteria. When the evaluation is going on, the lights of the whole hall is turned off and only a few students belonging to the presentation team are allowed to be present in the arena. Since the time for which the diyas can remain lighed up is very small, only after the judges have left the previous hall does a hall start lighting up the diyas. In the short span of 5 minutes, around 20,000 diyas are lighted up. After they are lighted up, all the structures made by tables are quickly moved out of sight for clear viewing of the chatais.
On the same day as Illumination, the Rangoli Competition is also organized. Gigantic
Rangolis (around 18' by 18') of exquisite detail and subtle shading are constructed using coloured powders, crushed bangles, pebbles, etc. Interplay of light and shadow and ambient music are part of the display. This is also fought for on an inter-hall basis.
The Illumination and Rangoli competition's evaluation is done on the following parameters:
* Aesthetics and Skill
The winners get a potful of
* Champions - 300,
* First Runner-up - 200,
* Second Runner-up - 100,
* Consolation - 100.
This is followed by a lot of
Tempo Shouts, another tradition belonging solely to IIT Kharagpur.
Indian Institutes of Technology
Student Life in IIT Kharagpur
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