Republic Day is one of the national holidays in India celebrated on the 26th of January every year. It is considered as one of the most important days in the Indian history, as India adopted the Indian Constitution and became a sovereign, democratic and republic state on this day in 1950. The day is honored and celebrated with great joy, gusto, splendor and magnificence. The whole nation is engaged in true patriotic spirit by singing and playing patriotic songs and organizing cultural programs. However, the main event takes place at the Rajpath in New Delhi, the capital of India. People gather in large numbers at the India Gate to view the gorgeous parade. The entire parade is telecasted live on the national television. Read on to know the main highlights of the Republic Day parade that takes place annually.
Republic Day Parade At New Delhi
The day starts off with the Prime Minister laying a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the nation. This memorial is situated at India Gate at one end of Rajpath. A two minute silence is observed in the memory of these unknown soldiers. The Prime Minister is then driven to the main dais at Rajpath, where he is joined by the President and other dignitaries. The President then unfurls the Indian flag which is immediately followed by the National Anthem. He is then accompanied by the honorable Head of State or Government from a foreign country as the Chief Guest. Soon after, a 21 gun salute is presented.
The President comes forward to award the medals for bravery, such as the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra to the people who have shown exceptional excellence in their respective fields. This marks the beginning of the parade by the three regiments of the Armed Forces, namely the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Dressed in their finery and official decorations, the soldiers march past, bringing down their weapons, while passing by the President as a gesture of respect towards the head. The President, who serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, comes forward and takes the salute. The winners of the gallantry awards also pass by in open jeeps. Kids, who have won National Bravery Awards, pass by on elephants.
The grand parade continues with the Indian Military showcasing its latest acquisitions, namely, tanks, missiles, radars, etc. Different helicopters from the Indian Air Force fly past the parade showcasing their stunts and showering rose petals on the audience beneath. This military parade is followed by a colorful cultural parade. Different tableaus display India's rich cultural heritage from various states, with each one depicting its unique location, art and festivals. This section of the parade adds to the festivity of the occasion by exhibiting the diversity and richness of the Indian culture.
Various government departments and ministries also display their tableaus displaying new inventions and developments for the progress of the country. This is then followed by regional tableaus, with each region displaying its culture and heritage. School children perform different folk dances from across India on patriotic songs. This is followed by displays of dangerous and exciting skilful motor-cycle rides by the Armed Forces personnel. Last but not the least, jets and fighter planes from the Indian Air Force fly past the parade symbolically saluting the President thereby, traditionally concluding the Republic Day parade. The parade marches along the India Gate and ends into the Red fort in the walled city of Old Delhi.