12th January is the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as per the English calendar. This day is being observed as National Youth Day throughout India.
The year January 2013 to January 2014 is a historic year as the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda falls during the period.
This year, 2013, National Youth Day (Jan 12th) was celebrated at Vivekanandar Illam, in a way, heralding the year long celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The Day started early in the morning with Puja to Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, etc., followed by Sri Ramakrishna Homa on the new ground leased recently to Vivekananda House by the Tamilnandu Government.
After the Homa Monks, devotees and admirers offered pushpanjali to Swami Vivekananda’s statue, situated at the entrance of the Vivekanandar Illam and then Arati was performed to Swamiji. Next Swami Tyagananda Maharaj, head of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston, and Swami Vimurtananda Maharaj, Editor of Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam Tamil Monthly, addressed the gathering of students, admirers and devotees. In the end Swami Gautamananda Maharaj, President of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai delivered the benedictory address. Afterwards prasad was served.
In the Evening (5 PM) devotional Bhajans were rendered by the Students of GK Shetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Ambattur, Chennai. Next was Silambattam (Traditional Acrobat performances) by the Students of Tamilnadu Mallakhamb Federation. Next was Villipattu by the Students of Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Kolathur.
Towards the end Swami Gautamananda Maharaj presented the performers with mementos and then Prasad was served to all.
Some of the pictures from the Day are published here: