Guest Author - Preena Deepak
The Indian Nation has observed 26th January of each year as Republic Day since 1950. Though India gained its independence from the British rule in 1947, the Constitution of India came into force only on 26th January 1950 and so this day is celebrated as Republic Day.
A grand Republic Day Parade is hosted each year at Rajghat, New Delhi with a splendid display by the Indian armed forces. The Head of State of a foreign country is invited as the Guest of Honor. The Prime Minister of India begins the celebrations by honoring the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country and lays a floral wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. The Republic Day military salute is taken by the President of India.
The day also marks an award ceremony where members of armed forces and civilians are recognized for their acts or valor and courage.
Republic Day parade in India is a colorful event with participation from all states. India’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated and participants engage the crowd with traditional dances and performances. Several school children display their talents and take part in the proceedings as well.
While the grand Republic Day parade happens in the country’s capital, State wise celebrations also happen where the Chief Ministers of each State take the salute, hoist the Indian flag and deliver Republic Day speeches. This occasion serves as a platform for each State to showcase its culture and traditions as well as remember the freedom fighters from the State.
Indian Republic Day is one of India’s three National Holidays, the other two being Independence Day (15th August) and Gandhi Jayanthi (2nd October). Though declared a holiday, educational institutions host Republic Day celebrations with flag hoisting.
On the third day, after Republic Day, 29th of January a beating retreat is conducted to officially denote the end of the Republic Day celebrations. The President of India presides over this event and bands from the India Army, Navy and Air Force perform well known numbers.
Republic Day is honored by Indians and on this day it is not uncommon to find people assembling together for flag hoisting, taking the pledge and singing the national anthem. Many Indians wear small badges of the Indian Flag and shops put up the tri color on display to show their patriotism.
Greetings and wishes for Republic Day are shared with much enthusiasm. On the whole Republic Day is one occasion where Indians set aside their cultural differences and unite to celebrate India.
Here are two colorful Republic Day poster from Amazon.com
Security Personnel March at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India, Friday, January 26, 2007 Photographic Poster Print by Mustafa Quraishi, 18x24
Republic Day Parade, People Dressed in Traditional Costume, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Photographic Poster Print by Steve Vidler, 12x16