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  REPUBLIC DAY
Republic Day E-card
 
 

Republic Day is one of the greatest national celebrations observed throughout the country on January 26 every year. India became Republic on the 26th Jan, 1950. The country became a sovereign democratic republic with a written constitution and an elected parliament. At the time of independence, although India was under British rule, there were 565 Princely States, big and small, ruled by powerful sovereigns who were protected by treaties of alliance with the British Crown.

 
 

Without bringing them together, the fundamental unity of the country was not possible. This unification was accomplished 
by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whose statesmanship helped to integrate the country into one nation. In a little less than 2 years, all the princely States became a part of the Republic of India. 

Republic Day Parade

The first Republic Day parade in 1950, was held at the Irwin Stadium (the present day National Stadium). It was the British who bought to India the concept of the ceremonial parade. It was used for both celebration and national glorification. the Republic Day parade, once a small and modest affair, has now turned into a lavish spectacle of

 
 
marching columns representing the armed forces, accompanied by armoured vehicles and military bands. These are followed by decorated floats presented by the various states of India and folk dancers drawn from the diverse regions of the country. An air display by the Indian Air Force, forms the highlight of the parade. In the capital, New Delhi, the festivities are the most spectacular, and the day is celebrated with parade and pageantry.
 
 

Watched by a vast multitude of people, the parade starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential residence) and winding its way through the heart of the city, ends at the historic Red Fort in Old Delhi.

 
  End of the Republic Day celebrations  
 

Three days later, on the evening of January 29, a stirring ceremony known as 'Beating Retreat', is held. The ancient military custom of sending drummers through the streets just before sunset to warn the troops to return to their barracks before the flag is hauled down for the night, has been revived in a unique way. Twenty or more 
bands, from the three services, perform. The plaintive notes of the old hymn, 'Abide with me' is played. The bands fall silent and a solitary bugler takes up the hymn's refrain. The final notes fade away-marking the end of the Republic Day celebrations.

 
 
Republic Day Graphics
     
Republic Day E-card
 

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