The Republic day of India is one of the most important national event in India.
To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate .
Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to unknown soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes silence in the memory of unknown soldiers. It is a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country.
Thereafter he/she reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. First he unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past.
The President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations.
The different regiments of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The crÃ¨me of N. C. C. cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms. Floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and regions of India are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. Also part of the parade are children who win the National Bravery Award for the year.
The parade also includes other vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets.
Celebrations are also held in state capitals, where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honour of unfurling the National Flag of India.
The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.