OPEN FEAST TO BREAK THE MYTH OF ‘NON-DINING’
The Rationalists’ Forum, a functional wing of Periyar Movement organized an Open Space Family Feast of Rationalists and Progressive persons, on 27th July 2018 at Periyar Thidal, Chennai on the occasion of Lunar Eclipse.
The rare event of Lunar Eclipse 2018, the longest one duration wise – full eclipse of 1 hour 43 minutes, which occurred 152 years back will occur in future only after 10 years. The rare occasion was utilized as scientific facts propaganda cum informative and meaningful entertainment event.
The inaugural session started with a brief narration of how lunar eclipse and solar eclipse occur and the astronomical facts behind them. How did astronomical scientists face stiff resistance and fatal end during the past for their advocacy of ‘heliocentric’ universe instead of ‘geocentric’ as narrated in religious texts? The myth behind the religious belief was shackled to make it as the popular belief that is factual too. As a part of the event, the portraits of scientists – Eratosthenes (276 – 194 BCE), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Isaac Newton (1643-1727) were unveiled as a mark of respect. A brief note of their contributions was also explained by speakers.
Afterwards, games with scientific explanation were introduced for the children to play. Video clippings of man landing on the Moon for the first time in 1969 and of the folk cultural event of breaking the myth and superstitions as prevailed at the time of landing were displayed as replay of the then popular Tamil feature film. Personalities who have been contributing to the cause of teaching science and development of scientific temper were felicitated. Many from the audience were invited to sing songs on the eradication of superstitions and other rationalist themes.
When the lunar eclipse commenced at 11.44 p.m. (midnight) of 27th July 2018, all the members participated in the joint open space feast to break the myth of ‘dining not to be undertaken while the eclipse endures’. Simultaneously the members were viewing, through the installed telescopes, the stages of lunar eclipse occurrence. Till the early morning of 28th July upto 2.30 a.m. the event of entertaining the people with explanation of scientific facts went on. The audience also listened to the special lecture given by Dr. K.Veeramani, Patron, The Rationalists’ Forum on Meaningless Mythology on Natural Astronomical Occurrence’ in a jovial as well as enlightening manner. Over all the attended audience enjoyed the event. The Rationalists’ Forum co-ordinated the event along with the Forum of Revolving Earth.