The inter-hall illumination contest is held every year on Diwali, the
festival of lights. Generally, all the hostels participate in the event. A
lot of preparation goes into this event. The idea is to decorate the hall with
oil lamps by placing them on wire grids and hanging them from supports so
as to create intricate patterns of lights dancing in mid-air.
The designs are usually finalised about ten days before Diwali. The work then starts and a large percentage of the hall's population turns up to put in their bit. The work involves tying wire around diyas (earthen oil lamps) so that they may be hung from grids, placing these diyas on grids and finally filling them with oil. The whole episode of lighting the diyas lasts about ten minutes but the sight is so spectacular and rewarding that it condones all the hard work and considerable amount of money that goes into the effort. The winning hall gets a huge pot of rasgullas (milk dumplings in sugar syrup) to celebrate. After the rasgullas are eaten, the remaining syrup is poured over the unsuspecting hall president's head.
In the pictures you see front views of Azad Hall (Thanks: Vijay Jayachandran) and Patel hall (Thanks: Rajat Bhargava) during illumination and a photograph of the rangoli. Other halls are similarly decked up on this occasion.