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National festivals are a proud moment for every citizen, and one celebrated with pomp and circumstances is the Republic Day.

The Republic Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and esteem throughout the country, with the words Jana Gana Mana echoing from every nook and corner. Paper flags and display pieces are sold at every turn of the road, and the colours of saffron, white and green dominate every shopfront.

Are you excited to welcome this historic day too? Read on to learn more about celebrating Republic Day in 2022.

Republic Day date and holiday

The Republic Day is celebrated on January 26 every year. It’s a gazetted national holiday observed by schools, banks, and offices.

Significance of the day

On January 26, 1950, the Indian Constitution came into force across the country. The Constituent Assembly worked for almost three years and garnered inputs from over sixty other countries’ constitutions to prepare the draft. It was finally adopted on November 26, 1949, and two months later, became effective in all the states and union territories.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the country, empowering its citizens with certain rights as well as assigning them some responsibilities. That’s why the signing is commemorated as Republic Day.

How is it usually celebrated?

Salute the flying flag

Flag hoisting is the most indivisible part of Republic Day. Schools, colleges, universities and all such social institutions hold ceremonies early morning, with teachers delivering inspiring speeches and students participating in cultural shows.

Prominent figures in the society are often invited as chief guests and have the honour of hoisting the tricolour. Hundred of fellow Indians singing the national anthem in unison fills the air with a palpable sense of belongingness and unity, which is undoubtedly the pinnacle moment of the ceremony.

Watch the parade at Rajpath

The capital of the country sees the highlight of the countrywide celebrations- the grand Republic Day Parade. The event begins with the Prime Minister laying the wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti and the President unfurling the flag.

The parade then proceeds from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, wherein different regiments of the Indian National Army march in all their finery and official decorations, and troupes from several states give cultural performances depicting the heritage of the country. Gallantry awards like Paramvir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, and Vir Chakra and the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar are also presented.

Image © Caleb Kung/Flickr

Towards the end of the ceremony, the Air Force puts on a grand flypast as the fighter jets whizz in and out of breathtaking formations at the highest speeds.

Whether you are witnessing the parade in person or watching it on your television screen from home, your chests are sure to puff with pride and patriotism.

Republic Day celebration in 2022

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 variant, Omicron, and the general Covid situation in Delhi, the government of India has decided to significantly curtail the number of people who can physically be present at the parade. As stated by the authorities, the number of invitees for the year 2022 is likely to be trimmed down to 5,000 to 8,000 guests. Furthermore, children below the age of 15 years will not be allowed to attend the parade.

Strict Covid protocols will be in place at the parade. Mask-wearing has been made mandatory; thermal checks will be conducted and attendees will have to show their double-vaccination certificates before entering the site.

In case of an attendee having even a mild temperature, entry will be denied. Only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to enter. Additionally, there will be Covid booths present at entry areas, and if anyone with symptoms arrives, they will be isolated in these booths.

Republic Day 2022 parade

The Republic Day parade for the year 2022, is set to be held on a Central Vista.

Image © The Times of India

This year, twelve states and Union territories with nine ministries and departments have been selected to showcase their tableaux at the parade. These include Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

The Defence Ministry further stated that the Republic Day parade for the year 2022 will begin half an hour later than usual. Due to the prediction of foggy days around 26 January, the parade will start at 10.30 am instead of 10 am for better visibility. Moreover, the authorities have also stated that, for a better viewing experience for spectators at the parade, 10 large LED screens – five on each side of Rajpath – will be installed.

Films combining footage from previous Republic Day Parades, short films on the Armed Forces, and stories related to various events in the run-up to Republic day 2022 are set to be screened before the parade begins.

Later, the screens will display the parade live. A nationwide flagship programme of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ will be launched as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ Republic Day theme to honour the supreme sacrifices of the fallen heroes in defending the Nation.

The family of some 5,000 fallen heroes will be presented with the Plaque of Gratitude by National Cadet Corp members all over the country.

Around 75 aircraft are set to participate in the traditional fly-past that marks the end of the ceremony. Vintage, as well as modern aircraft like Rafale, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache, and Dakota, will be showcased. The Fly-Past will witness 15 different formations by these aircraft, or helicopters.