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Republic Day is India's great
national festival. It is celebrated every year on January 26, in New
Delhi with great pomp and pageant and in capitals of the States, as well
as at other headquarters and important places with patriotic fervour.
It was the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at midnight
of December 31, 1929 - January 1, 1930, that the Tri-Colour Flag was
unfurled by the nationalists and a pledge taken that every year on
January 26, the "Republic Day" would be celebrated and that
the people would unceasingly strive for the establishment of a Sovereign
Democratic Republic of India. The professed pledge was successfully
redeemed on 26 January, 1950, when the Constitution of India framed by
the Constituent Assembly of India came into force, although the
Independence from the British rule was achieved on August 15, 1947.
It is because of this that August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day,
while January 26 as Republic Day. The most spectacular celebrations
include the march past of the three armed Forces, massive parades, folk
dances by tribal folk from the different states in picturesque costumes
marking the cultural unity of India. Further, the streak of jet planes
of Indian Air Force, leaving a trial of coloured smoke, marks the end of
the festival. The trees on both sides of the routes and the lawns become
alive with spectators.
The President of India at New Delhi, on this most colourful day, takes
salute of the contingents of Armed Forces. In the States, the Governors
take the salute, and in Taluqas and administrative headquarters on same
procedure is adopted. At Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, three days later
(i.e. 29th January) the massed bands of the Armed Forces "Beat the
Retreat" in a majestic manner.
The Republic Day celebrations have rightly become world famous as one
of the greatest shows on earth drawing thousands of eager sight-seers
from all over the country and many parts of the world. No other country
can draw on such a wealth of tribal traditions and cultures, so many
regional forms of dances and dress. And, no other country in the world
can parade so many ethnically different people in splendid uniforms as
India's Armed Forces. But they are all united in their proven loyalty to
the Government elected by the people and in their proud traditions and
Officially, Republic Day is celebrated all over the country - national
capital, state capitals, municipal corporations, panchayats, and other
official agencies. At the level of the people, it is observed in homes,
housing colonies, schools, colleges and institutions of every kind.