National Youth Day is being observed on January 12 every year. In 1984 it was unanimously declared that January 12 would henceforth be observed as Youth Day in memory of the great visionary Swami Vivekananda. Since 1985, India celebrates January 12 as Youth day. Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has declared January 12 as a public holiday. While declaring January 12 as National Youth Day, the government believed that the vision and his motive to live should be a source of inspiration for the Indian youth of today.
Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth centenary was celebrated for 4 years, as decided by the Manmohan Singh government in 2013. Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh laid emphasis on the fact that the teachings and ideology of Swami Vivekananda are imperative for the youth of the nation to be aware of.
Educational institutions all over the country celebrate this day with vigour; particularly Bengal. Seminars, youth conventions, yoga events, sports events are some of the customs practiced on this day. Processions and roadshows are also held which host events like music, recitation, drawing and essay-writing. The lectures and writings of Swami Vivekananda was heavily influenced by the ideology of his guide and mentor Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans.
In September 1893, Swami Vivekananda delivered several speeches in Chicago, the USA at a global religious assembly. The first speech is particularly significant as Swamiji addressed the guests as “sisters and brothers of America”. As it was a religious assembly Swami Vivekananda spoke highly of India and emphasized the importance of Hinduism in Indian culture.