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Festivals & Celebrations
Culture is a strong binding force in societies and every individual is rooted in a culture that influences his/her life style and attitude towards life. In Abhyasa, we train students’ right from childhood to experience various cultures through the celebration of all religious festivals and develop tolerance, understanding, and respect for communities-that paves way for a harmonious social living. Abhyasa blends the traditions of Indian Gurukuls and the system of Public Schools to provide an open-minded outlook towards life that encompasses everything that is natural, good and promotes positive values. At Abhyasa, we believe in the ‘Brotherhood of Mankind’ and the ‘Fatherhood of God’ as an Omni-present and Omni-potent force. Major festivals of all religions are celebrated with religious fervor to promote tolerance and love for all races and creeds. The presence of students from all over India and abroad provides a cosmopolitan setup that broadens the horizons of interaction among children.
The first festival is indeed the day most looked forward to, as it is Abhyasa’s Birthday, on June21st. It was on this day that the school came into existence in the year 1996. A very significant day indeed, not just because it is Abhyasa’s Birthday, but also because it happens to be the longest day (summer Solstice). Cake – cutting and a Fresher’s Party for the new arrivals are highlights of the day.
The Poornima (Full Moon) Day in the month of Ashadha (July-August) is known as Guru Poornima, as it is the birthday of Sage Veda Vyasa- the author of Mahabharath and the ancient Hindu Puranas. On this day, special worship is performed of the Acharyas (Gurus), who, through their Infinite Compassion and Supreme Grace, have imparted knowledge to all the Seekers of the Self. At Abhyasa, the day starts with community singing (Nagar Sankeertan) in Toopran village followed by distribution of food. Obeisance is paid to the spiritual Guru.
Raksha Bandhan celebration is the festival to express the immaculate love between brothers and sisters. Rakhi epitomizes the unconditional love between brothers and sisters. All the girls of Abhyasa organize a cultural programme for their brothers on the campus, which includes tying of ‘Rakhees’, Singing of Songs, Dance performances, speeches and offering of Harathi and sweets. It’s a day that reminds everybody of the bonhomie that we share on the campus.
Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna an avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu. The festival falls in mid-August-September as per the Gregorian Calendar. The programme consists of dances, songs, speeches, ‘bhajans’ sung in praise of Shree Krishna, as he swings blissfully on a beautifully decorated cradle and relishes the sweets and savories offered. ‘Breaking the butter pot’ is a significant event in Krishna’s life that is enacted as a popular sport in many parts of India. A student – representing Krishna – tries to reach the butter pot by climbing a human pyramid.
Students organize a flag hosting ceremony. The air is filled with patriotic feelings that emanate from various songs aired on the campus radio. As the tricolor goes up atop the administrative building of Abhyasa, all the students salute with reverence and pride and sing the national anthem. The programme consists of patriotic songs sung by students and speeches eulogizing the great sacrifices made by our freedom fighters followed by the Principal’s message.
The festival is observed during August – September which lasts for 10 days. Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Pravati, is widely worshiped as the supreme god of wisdom, fortune and remover of obstacles. All the children devotedly make eco-friendly idols of ‘Lord Ganesha’ with locally available natural clay. Each class competes with the other in a creative way. On the 10th day of immersion, the students carry all the idols in decorated palanquins and proceed in a procession comprising the Vedic chanting group, bhajans singing group, the dancing group and the shouting brigade who fills the air with “Ganapathi Bappa Moriya”. After reaching the lake on the outskirts of Toopran, the idols are immersed into the water.
On 5th of September, the birthday of ‘Mr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’ – one of the most learned Presidents of India, who was also a teacher – Teachers day is celebrated with respect and gratitude towards the teaching faculty. Keeping in tune with the Indian Gurukul traditions, Abhyasa students perform ‘Paada Puja’ (worshipping of the Guru’s feet) for all their teachers. It is followed by felicitation of all the staff members by the Principal. Later in the evening, the students entertain the staff with songs, dances, fun games and ramp shows.
The day which every Abhyasite look forward to with joy, pride and awe is “The Founder’s Day”, the birthday of our beloved Director and Founder Principal Mr. Vinayak Kalletla on 6th September each year. The day is full of surprises for both the ‘birthday boy’ and the students! The day is filled with exciting and entertaining performances by the students and the staff.
Eid-UI-Fitr, popularly known as the “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast”, occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This festival prepares the devout for self-examination – taking him/her closer to God. Abhyasa students visit the Mosque and offer prayers to the Almighty ‘Allah’. An interaction with the local ‘Moulvi’ enlightens the students about Prophet Muhammed (pbup) and his teachings in the holy Book of Quran. The day culminates with a traditional ‘Iftar’ party on the campus.
This festival falls in the month of August/September and celebrated pre-dominantly in the state of Kerala. As the festival occurs in the midst of Monsoon season, it celebrates the green beauty of the earth. Floral designs are arranged around decorated lamps and girls wearing the traditional attire of Kerala dance round the Alpana designs to the tune of Onam Songs. The Students are treated to special cuisine from the state of Kerala.
Dussera – “The festival of Victory,” is celebrated for 10 days in all parts of the subcontinent. The festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the Ashwini month, according to the Shaka Hindu Calendar (around October) and symbolizes the victory of Good over evil. During the Navratri festival (nine auspicious nights)prayers are offered to the Mother Goddess (Shakti). Students are dressed in traditional attire and dance to rhythmic tunes for the traditional ‘Dandia’ dance.
While Diwali is popularly known as the “Festival of Lights”, it is the most significant Indian festival that falls during the mid-year vacation (in the first half of November). While students are busy lighting up their homes, the staff at Abhyasa light up the campus with oil lamps and offer prayers to the Goddess of prosperity, for the welfare of all the students.
14th of November is the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – celebrated as the Children’s Day all over India. This is the day of surprises and fun for all the Abhyasa children, as they get a chance to make even the most strictest of their teachers, dance to their tunes. Children taste the delicious-cuisine prepared personally by all the teachers and enjoy the fun –filled evening when their teachers behave like children – performing all sorts of gimmicks on the stage.
Birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The 23rd of November marks the birthday of ‘Bhagawan Sree Sathya Sai Baba’ – who epitomized service to mankind as equivalent to service to God. Abhyasa students fill the day with service and spiritual activities such as the singing of Bhajans, organizing a free medical camp for the needy in Toopran, free distribution of food and clothes, etc. The day ends with reiteration of his message….. “Love All, Serve All, Help Ever, Hurt Never”…
Christmas is celebrated on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Abhyasa starts the observance of the Christmas Eve by celebrating the birth of ‘Jesus Christ’. They move in a candle procession and offer prayers at the Crib. Students look forward to Santa Claus early in the morning to receive goodies from him. Students visit the Church and attend the Special Service Sermon by the Father and sing carols and offer prayers.
Sankranthi is a harvest festival celebrated in various parts of the country on 14th of January every year to mark the annual journey of the Sun into the constellation of Capricorn. The youth fly Kites, while the women folk decorate their thresholds with colorful designs. The farmers decorate their cattle colorfully and parade them in the streets. It is essentially a rural festival and Abhyasites experience it in all its vagaries in the rural setup of Toopran.
The Republic Day of India is a National festival to mark the adoption of the Constitution of India and transition of India from a British Dominion to an Independent Republic on January 26th 1950. As 26th January approaches, the spirit of patriotism and competition is high among the students of Abhyasa. The ‘Republic Day Run’ is flagged off from the Toopran Police Station and Students run through the streets of Toopran carrying the Indian Flag to return to the school campus. The boy and the girl who reach the campus first, get the privilege of hosting the tri-colour on this occasion.
Maha Shiv Rathri
It is a day of fasting and staying awake – to gain control over the bodily senses and desires. It is the day of fasting for the devout staff and students who visit the ancient Shiva shrine in Toopran and keep awake by chanting bhajans and offering rituals at the school temple late into midnight.
Holi, the festival of colours is celebrated at the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/ March).
At Abhyasa, students enact the scene of Holika Dahan – marking the end of evil and also the end of an annual cycle of Nature. Students enjoy throwing coloured water on each other. The environment friendly Abhyasites prepare their own natural colours from beetroot, spinach, turmeric etc. and do not use any harmful chemical colors available in the market. Children play to their hearts’ content pouring coloured water on each other and dancing to the exciting ‘Holi’ tunes.
Graduation Ceremony of Class X and XII students
This is a solemn ceremony wherein the batches of Classes X & XII who have appeared for the board examinations – move in a procession solemnly attired with the special graduation gown from the administrative office to the venue of the programme. The student office bearers lay down their office and hand over the charge to the next leader. After the keynote address by the Guest of Honour, the Principal administers an oath to all the graduating students to uphold all the values and the traditions imparted at Abhyasa.
Later, the Chief Guest of the function gives away souvenirs and testimonials to all the students. Students and Parents share their experiences at Abhyasa and the programme ends with a special dinner hosted for all the parents and students by the senior students.
It is the regional ‘New Year day for people of ‘Andhra Pradesh’, ‘Maharashtra’ & ‘Karnataka’ who celebrate the first day of the Lunar Chaitra Month (April). The festival that falls in Spring, marks the commencement of a new Lunar Almanac. The customary reading of the ‘Almanac’ – based on Astrological predications that explores what is in store for the people and the country during the year to come, is a unique of this festival. A special dish containing all the six tastes of Indian cuisine is prepared signifying the experience of all six emotions that we all experience during the year.
School Annual Valedictory – Celebration Nite
The valedictory programme marks the end of another academic year for the students at Abhyasa. It is a programme which showcases the achievements of the school during the academic year in the field of Academics, Sports, Games, Music, Dance, and other extra – curricular activities. It is the day, when the whole school celebrates the success, of all those who are responsible for bringing laurels to Abhyasa in all the inter-school competitions and events. Before the final academic examination mood takes over, the students celebrate their success achieved during the year with presentations, felicitations, dances and of course a special dinner.
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