Republic Day is celebrated on 26th January every year It was on this day in 1950 that India adopted its own constitution and became a Sovereign Democratic Republic. The Republic Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the length and breadth of the country. In Delhi it is a great festive occasion. People go in large numbers to the Vijay Chowk where the President takes the salute. From very early in the morning people crowd the place in order to get a vantage position. The President drives in State to the saluting base. He is greeted by the Ministers, diplomatic corps and distinguished visitors. It is from there that the Republic Day parade starts. Column after Column reaches the base salute the President and march on.
The parade consists of the columns of the three services of the armed forces— the Army, the Navy and the Air Force the N.C.C. cadets and school children. These columns are preceded by the modem equipment of warfare— tanks machine guns, automatic weapons showing thereby the armed preparedness of the country. There is a band accompanying each column. Last but not least, the parade has tableaux representing the different parts of the country. They all depict the cultural aspects of our national life. The jets and fighter planes dive low in salute to the president.
The Parade passes through the main roads of New Delhi and Old Delhi and reaches the Red Fort. It is greeted by crowds of people lining the streets all along the route. Fire works are let off in the evening. Government buildings are brightly illuminated. Folk dances and other cultural programmes are organized. The celebrations conclude with a colourful 'Beating of the Retreat' on the 29th January.
It is on this historic day that the President awards civil arid military honors for distinguished national service. The recipients come one by one. Many people get posthumous awards for the service rendered by them. These are received by their relatives.
On the Republic Day this year clouds hung low in the sky but they could in no way dampen the enthusiasm of the people. Lakhs of people turned up to see the celebrations in spite of the bad weather. This year's parade had some special features. The army displayed its growing strength by bringing out before the public eye the home-made tanks, aircraft and missiles.
Fifteen tableaux from various states went past the saluting base. People watched with interest the tableaux, from West Bengal, Kerala, Orissa, Gujarat, etc. The tableaux from Rajasthan was adjudged the best. The programme took about two hours. Such National Festivals have their own importance. They arouse political consciousness and promote national unity.