Every year, 26th January is celebrated as India’s Republic Day. Although India became independent on 15th August 1947, it was on 26th January 1950 that India’s Constitution came into force and it became a truly sovereign country. In the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress (INC), at the midnight of 31st December, 1929- 1st January, 1930, Indian Nationalists unfurled the Tri-Coloured flag. While unfurling the flag, they took a pledge that every year, 26th January shall be celebrated as the day when India attained Purna Swaraj. Later, on 26th January 1950, the Constituent Assembly of India framed the Constitution of India. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar became the Chairman of the Committee, who along with other members of the Committee, drafted the Constitution. Since then 26th January is declared as a National Holiday and is celebrated as India’s Republic Day.
Republic Day is celebrated with great pomp and show, as a grand parade is held at Rajpath, New Delhi. Before the parade begins, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, a memorial of the soldiers who lost their lives to attain Independence (freedom) from the British Colonial Rule. The President accompanies the Chief Guest, who is the Head of the State or Government of a foreign country. The President hoists the flag and the National Anthem is played, followed by 21-gun salute. After this, the President presents India’s top gallantry awards, namely- the Param Veer Chakra, the Veer Chakra and the Maha Veer Chakra to the outstanding soldiers from the defense services.
After this, they proceed towards Rajpath, to watch the parade. The parade commences with the regiments of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, walking past the President, wherein all the three regiments are dressed up in their official uniforms. As the regiment passes by, the President takes the salute. The military parade is then followed by the bright and colourful tableaus of different States and Union Territories, depicting various cultures. Also, school children perform various folk dances of different states. The culmination of the parade is marked by jets and fighter planes, performing various daredevil stunts. After this, the National Anthem is played, marking the end of the Republic Day celebrations.
From 26th -29th January, all the major Government buildings are lit with bright lights. On 29th January, the “Beating the Retreat” ceremony is conducted, which comprises of bands marching to the tunes of various patriotic songs. Apart from this, the Drummer’s Call follows wherein the drummers give solo performances. Following this, the Bugle Call is followed that indicates the band master to walk up to the President, requesting to take away the bands. Finally, at 6 p.m., the buglers declare the retreat and the National Flag is then lowered. This ceremony officially marks the end of the Republic Day celebrations.
How to celebrate Republic Day at home?
- Involve your children in decorating the house with tri-coloured balloons and ribbons.
- Dress-up in a way that reflects a feeling of patriotism. For instance, you can wear a tri-colour scarf/dupatta or accessorise your dress with tri-colour sweatband/bangles.
- Take your children to watch the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi. If you are not in Delhi, watch the parade on your televisions.
- Listen to the patriotic songs and more importantly, try to understand the lyrical content of the songs.
- Involve your children and encourage friends and family members to join you in singing patriotic songs such “Vande Mataram”, “Ae Mere Pyare Vatan” etc.
So, use the above mentioned tips to celebrate this Republic Day with your family and friends.
Happy Republic Day!!