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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 2021.

When is it celebrated?

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 its 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 in 2021

Given the present circumstances of the COVID-19 infection, Republic Day celebrations will likely take a new look.

In the coming months, the government’s guidelines about the occasion will be clarified by the authorities. Mass gatherings and events will most probably be prohibited or limited to a very small attendance. In case the situation worsens, private functions and ceremonies may also be capped. The Delhi Parade, if it happens, will likely be allowed to only high-ranking government personnel and a select few invitees, and will only be televised for the rest of the public.

On an individual level as well, each one of us has to be careful. It’s advisable to celebrate only in small groups to reduce the risk of contracting this contagious virus. Everyone should use masks and gloves to the extent possible. Needless to say, follow the rules of social distancing. Afterwards, make sure you wash and sanitise your hands and face well.