How Is Republic Day Celebrated in India?

Republic Day in India, the day honoring the 1950 enactment of the Constitution of India, is celebrated Jan. 26 through 29 each year with celebrations, parades and flag-hoisting ceremonies. On the fourth and last day, the Beating Retreat Ceremony officially marks the end of Republic Day celebrations.

The start of the grandest of the Republic Day parades is held at Rajpath in New Delhi and is presided over by the president of India. The parade starts with a wreath being placed at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in memory of members of the armed forces who lost their lives for their country, followed by a 21-gun salute, unveiling of the National Flag and singing of the Indian National Anthem. The also honors the country's rich and colorful heritage.

Before the parade, awards are presented to winners of gallantry awards. The parade begins with the winners saluting the president in open military jeeps, followed by a showcase of military vehicles and military weapons. The parade includes a march past various regiments of the armed forces and cultural dances performed by school children. Children who are winners of the National Bravery Award ride elephants in the parade. The day concludes with a daredevil motorcycle show and a flyover by Indian Air Force fighter jets.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony, which ends the four-day Republic Day celebrations, features bands from the three wings of the Indian military: the Navy, the Air Force and the Army. Each band plays the national anthem of India and music based on Indian tunes.