Republic day is a day of pride for all the Indian nationals. As we see the flag unfurl on January 26th every year, our hearts are filled with respect and pride about being an Indian. But I am pretty sure a lot of us Indians are not well-versed with certain facts about the day we celebrate as a National Holiday every year.
Also, update yourself on the new things happening on this year's parade with Watch Out For These Unconventionalities On India’s 69th Republic Day
These are the facts that should know if your Dil is Hindustani
- Dr. BR Ambedkar handing over the draft constitution of Republic of India to President Rajendra Prasad on 26th Nov. 1949. Dr. BR Ambedkar handing over the draft constitution of Republic of India to President Rajendra Prasad on 26th Nov. 1949.
- At first, January 26th, 1930 was celebrated as India's Independence Day or Purna Swaraj Day. This is the day that India decided to fight for full independence.
- Indian Constitution came into effect (officially into a legal circulation) on 26th of January in 1950, at 10:18 am after which India became a Republic country.
- The first Republic Day was celebrated three years after Independence Day i.e. 26th January, 1950.
- Before the Constitution was drafted, India followed British Government's Government of India Act 1935.
- The Indian Constitution has 448 Articles in 22 Parts, 12 Schedules and 97 Amendments. It is supposedly the longest written constitution in the world and it took 2 years, 11 months
and 18 days to be completed. Since when, 94 amendments have been made to the constitution.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is known as the father of the constitution because he drafted the constitution.
- Indian Constitution is only calligraphed and not printed and only 1000 copies are written till date.
- There are two hand-written copies of the constitution- one in English and the other one in Hindi.
- The first every Republic Day Parade happened in 1955 at Rajpath.
- A Christian song, Abide With Me, is played at the Republic Day Parade. It is believed to be one of Mahatma Gandhi's favorite songs.
- A majority of national awards such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Kirti Chakra are awarded during the Republic Day ceremony.
- The Republic Day celebrations end with a beating retreat ceremony is held on 29th of January at Vijay Chowk with the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy bands performing.
- All the bravery awards such as Param Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Ashoka Chakra are awarded to the deserving candidates.
- The chief guest on republic day celebration, 1961 was Queen Elizabeth from Britain.
- On Republic Day, 1965, the Hindi language was declared as the national language of India.
- National Anthem of India takes 52 seconds to sing or play.
- The first President of India was Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He took an oath (at Durbar Hall of government house) first time on 26th January in 1950.
- 21 gun salutes are given every year when the President of India hoists the national flag on republic Day to mark the honour.
Since we're discussing festivals, patriotic or not. Read our Foodie's guide to Makar sankranti - A festival that's celebrated all across India in different ways.
How Can You Celebrate Republic Day in Delhi:
- Attend or watch the Republic Day Parade: : During a gazetted holiday, government offices and most businesses are closed so people have a day off work.Republic Day mornings are good times to switch on the TV, sit with family and a cup of tea and enjoy being the pride you have being an Indian.
REPUBLIC DAY PARADE:
Every year there is a large parade held in New Delhi, it starts at Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House) and proceeds along the Rajpath, past India Gate and onto the Red Fort. After the President hoists the Indian flag (to the sounds of the National Anthem) at 9 am, this vibrant parade begins its procession and continues for approximately three hours.
The parade boasts giant, decorated and extravagant floats. Each float represents one of the Indian states, moving down the procession path. You’ll also be amused by the Indian armed forces demonstrating their determination and strength by marching the whole length of the parade path. Three divisions lead the march: Army, Navy and Air Force, and there is an exciting air show to accompany the parade.
If you plan on attending the parade live, this event is ticketed. Things you should know if you are attending the Parade:
- No electronic devices are allowed.
- Your vehicles will be checked and there will be traffic on the route to the parade.
- Delhi Metro will also slow down. Make sure you check the right route and reach on time. All the gates are shut before the National Anthem plays.
- Beat Retreat: The celebrations of Republic Day end on January 29th. The curtains fall in Victoria Square/Vijay Chowk and pays tribute to the traditional act of retreating at sunset after a day of battle. The ceremony has live performances from the bands of three sectors of the armed forces. The whole event concludes with a performance of the song ‘Abide by Me’, performed collectively by all three bands. At 6pm, the evening bugles sound and this signifies the end of the very moving, emotional Republic Day celebrations.
The Reason Behind The 21 gun Salute On the Republic Day Parade:
Republic Day Parade traditions are carried out every year in the same manner with incredible caution and detailed supervision so that there's no mistake at all. One of the most fascinating ceremony on the Republic Day Parade is the 21-gun salute to the President Of India, the story behind this tradition is very interesting. 21 cannons are fired at a gap of about 2.25 seconds to encompass the entire 52 second of the national anthem. This happens in three successive rounds of 7 cannons each.
This custom has its origins in the 17th century when the naval forces at sea demanded an enemy to show peaceful intention by firing the ammunitions or unloading its weapons. The British warships at that time were quite difficult to operate and thus would take immense time to re-load or unload the weapons. Therefore, it was very necessary to show peaceful intent by firing the ammunitions on-board, in symmetry, from the naval warships.