National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12th of each year by India. This date also marks the birthday of the twentieth century spiritual and cultural leader, Vivekananda. During his life, Vivekananda fostered a dialogue between India and the West, promoted national integration in colonial India, and spearheaded a Hindu spiritual revival in India. In 1984, the Indian Government declared that the philosophy of Vivekananda and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth Day. Indeed, every year since this declaration, National Youth Day has been celebrated in honor of his mission and teachings. 

On National Youth Day, Indian youth are encouraged to honor Vivekananda by living up to his spiritual and educational teachings – urged to fight for what is right, work towards social change, and nurture their minds. The country observes the day with processions, speeches, recitations, music, youth conventions, seminars, Yogasana presentation, school competitions in essay-writing, recitations, music, and sporting events. 

Celebrating National Youth Day during COVID

As part of National Youth Week celebrations, the Indian Government usually holds the National Youth Festival between the 12th and 16th of January. However, in light of the pandemic this year, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided not to hold in-person events. Instead, these activities will be online. Various Indian organizations are following suit. Some of these events, and links to participating, are listed below.

Individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 wishing to compete in the National Youth Festival within the segments of Music, Dance, Regional Attire/Poshak Show, Theatre, Visual Arts, Expression Art, Knowledge Session, or Indigenous Games can register online here

The Indian National Bar Association is holding virtual presentations and speeches on that day. The speakers will be mental health advocate Divya Mohindroo Kashyap, founder, and CEO of THE SWITCH, Itzik Amiel, and Vice-Chancellor of GD Goenka University, Dr. Tabrez Ahmad. The discussion topics will include Judiciary Exams Preparation, Emerging Trends and Developments in Education, and The Art of Public Speaking. You can register for this event here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 2021 National Youth Festival at 10.00 IST. The event will get broadcasted live on Twitter. Search for username ‘@DrRPNishank’ on Twitter to join the event live.

Join a free two-hour yoga session led by Yoga and Happiness in celebration of National Youth Day. The session begins at 14:30 IST. Sign up on Facebook here

Attend a free webinar entitled “Exploring our Vocations in an Uncertain World.” – organized by SMS PU College, Virajpet. This talk will begin at 11:15 IST. Sign up here

Take part in online celebrations of the birthday of Vivekananda with Indian and Israeli youth at the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv. This Zoom event will begin at 15.30 IST. Sign up here

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