Important Festivals

The festival and celebrations calendar of the school is a busy and occupied one as there are festivities all-round the year.The students of the school, being an indivisible and indelible part of all the celebrations in Prashanthi Nilayam, participate and contribute to all the festivals celebrated in the Divine presence of Bhagawan Baba in the Prashanthi Nilayam Mandir (the sanctum sanctorum) of Puttaparthi. Besides these festivals,there are functions and programmes organised on important days throughout the year in the Hostel and in the School. A brief account of a few significant celebrations of a typical academic year are listed below:
Ganesh Chaturthi:
This festival is celebrated to mark the advent of the master of all knowledge, intelligence and wisdom, Lord Ganesha. In the morning, the students chant in chorus mantrams and hymns and later devotional songs adoring Lord Ganesha in the divine presence of Bhagawan Baba.The festival is generally celebrated for a couple of days sometime during Sep-Oct (Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi, according to the Hindu lunar calendar, to be precise).Devotional singing and spiritual activities go on in the Hostel and in the schooll till the final day when the statue of Lord Ganesha is taken out in a colourful and vibrant procession. The boys make large sets as chariots for the statue of Lord Ganesha on this day and circumambulate around the mandir before proceeding to the nearest water tank for the immersion of the idol . Annual Sports and Cultural Meet: The school has its annual festival of sports, games and cultural activities in the second week of January every year. The sports and cultural meet is an exhibition of events demonstrating a high degree of perfection, co-ordination and skill in the presence of a large audience. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself presides over the function and blesses the students and staff profusely with His encouragement, supervision and benediction. Sports and games are encouraged in the school not with a view to promote competition but to look high beyond competition and participate in the events in order to maintain a healthy body and mind. It serves to foster the virtues of team-spirit and camaraderie in the energetic youngsters, apart from general entertainment.
Christmas:
This is a festival when the whole school becomes a large choir with every student being either a base, a tenor or an alto. And on the 25th Dec morning the students sing soulful and scintillating carols in front of a large audience and Bhagawan Baba. Beside the celebration in the mandir, there are also programmes organised in the Hostel to mark the day.
Grama Seva:
Grama Seva’ or serving in the villages is an event which is a great enlivening experience for the students. This is organised generally after the half-yearly examinations in the months of Oct-Nov. Boys in groups go to different villages in and around Puttaparthi and distribute clothes, food packets, stationary items, etc. to the villagers. They get to see the actual living condition of their fellow brothers and sisters and experience the joy of serving the needy. Serving in the villages sensitises them to other people’s suffering and sows the seeds of compassion, sympathy and service in their hearts.
Independence Day and Republic Day:
Patriotism and national integration are high on the school’s agenda of value education. Apart from the usual flag hoisting and other ceremonies in the morning, the senior boys of the school organise a variety of programmes through out the day in the hostel premises, all based on the theme of patriotism. The evening is always a music, song and drama extravaganza.
Krishnastami:
This is a festival full of activity and jubilation celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. In the morning, boys bring the richly decorated cows, deer and Baba’s elephant Sai Geeta in a procession to the mandir for the blessings of Bhagawan Baba. Baba feeds and blesses the cows and showers His affection on Sai Geeta. There are also hymns and songs sung by the boys adoring Lord Krishna in the divine presence of Baba. Later in the day the boys have the ‘pot-breaking’ ceremony and other games in the hostel.
Dasahra: This is a ten day long festival celebrated in the mandir in which school boys participate very enthusiastically. They chant the holy vedic hymns along with the priests during the Yagnam in the divine presence of Baba. In the evening many boys get the chance to address the gathering of devotees and share their experiences with one and all in the mandir.
There are many more festivals and events in which the boys participate like the Guru Poornima celebrations when boys sing hymns and songs in the mandir, or the Akhanda Bhajan programme before the Birthday celebrations when boys sing bhajans in turns for full twenty four hours, or the Sivarathri celebrations when many boys stay awake throughout the night and do bhajans adoring Lord Shiva, or the Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan Baba when students enthusiastically participate in various activities during the celebrations.