The biggest focus is on New Delhi’s impressive annual military and cultural parade, but this national holiday is celebrated far and wide.
What is Republic Day?
India’s high commissioner in London, Krishna Menon, signs the Oath of Allegiance to the Indian constitution on January 26, 1950.
J. A. Hampton/Tropical Press Agency/Getty Images
But it wasn’t until January 26, 1950, that its new constitution went into effect.
And from that first January 26 onward, the country celebrates with Republic Day. In 2020, that date falls on a Sunday.
Delhi parade and celebration
Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day parade in Delhi on January 26, 2009.
PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
You’ll see displays of India’s military prowess with tanks, weaponry and precision marching by armed forces members in their finest uniforms. It’s not just a military display, though.
You’ll also see elaborate floats and groups of people representing India’s almost unfathomable variety of cultures, religions and climates.
You can watch everything from men astride camels and military hardware displays to beautiful floats reflecting India’s many religions — Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and more.
It’s a jubilant free-for-all with dancers in colorful, swirling costumes and acrobats on motorcycles.
VIPs join the masses
President Obama received an unprecedented honor during his high-profile visit to India. CNN’s Sumnima Udas reports.
This is also an international celebration, with dignitaries from around the world attending.
Where is Delhi’s parade held?
Indian army soldiers march during the Republic Day parade on the Rajpath in Delhi on January 26, 2012.
The route is more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) long, and it follows the Rajpath, one of the country’s most celebrated roadways.
It starts near the Presidential Palace, passes through the famed India Gate and winds up around the Red Fort.
What about the rest of the nation?
Delhi isn’t the only parade host. These soldiers march in Bangalore on January 26, 2011.
DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images
Republic Day is not just a Delhi affair. Flag ceremonies, parades and celebrations are held all over the country. Here’s a small sampling from some of India’s other cities:
— Bangalore (high-tech hub in south-central India): You can enjoy a parade and cultural fair at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground.
— Chennai (capital of Tamil Nadu on the southeastern coast): India’s fourth-largest city has celebrations along Kamarajar Salai and at Marina Beach.
— Kolkata (eastern India and one-time capital under British rule): Its parade winds along Red Road near the Maidan.
— Mumbai (financial and entertainment powerhouse on the west coast): The city hosts celebrations at Shivaji Park or along Marine Drive.
Source : Cnn