Delhi Republic Day parade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Delhi Republic Day parade
Float representing the state of Maharashtra at the 2015 Republic Day Parade.jpg
A float representing the State of Maharashtra at the 2015 Republic Day Parade.
GenreNational patriotic parade
Begins26 January
Ends26 January
Location(s)New Delhi, India
Most recent2019
Previous event26 January 2019
Next event26 January 2020
Organised byMinistry of Defence

The Delhi Republic Day parade is the largest and most important of the parades marking the Republic Day celebrations in India. The parade takes place every year on 26 January at Rajpath, New Delhi. It is the main attraction of India's Republic Day celebrations, which last for 3 days. The parade showcases India's defence capability and its cultural and social heritage.

Republic Day Parade[edit]

The Lion Capital at Rajpath decorated
President's Body Guards in their winter ceremonial dress
Agni-II ballistic missile on display at Republic Day Parade 2004

To mark the importance of the Republic Day, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's residence), along the Rajpath, past India Gate.[1] Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to fallen soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes silence in the memory of fallen soldiers. It is a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country. Thereafter he/she reaches the main dias at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. They are escorted on horseback by the President's Bodyguard.

First, the president unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given as the PBG renders the National Salute. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President. This is followed by the regiments of Armed Forces starting their march past. The President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations. Children who receive the National Bravery Award ride past the spectators on colourfully decorated elephants or vehicles.[2]

The unique BSF Camel Contingent during the annual Republic Day Parade in 2004.

Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part in this parade.[3] One of the unique sights of the parade is the camel mounted Border Security Force contingent, which is the only camel mounted military force in the world. The best N.C.C. cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms. 22 to 30 floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and union territories of India, including floats of union ministries and state enterprises are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion.[4] Around 1200 schoolchildren present cultural dances as part of the parade.[5] The 2016 Republic Day marked the return of K-9 Dog Squad to the parade after 26 years.[6]

Preparations for the parade in 2019. In picture the daredevil motorcycle riding display by motorcycle units of the Armed Forces and civil security services.

The parade traditionally ends with dare devil motor cycle riding display by motorcycle units of the Armed Forces and civil security services and a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets and helicopters carrying the national flag and the flags of the three services.

Comprising over 25 marching and mounted contingents, various military vehicles, 20 military bands, 30 cultural tableaux and 30 aircraft in addition to cultural performers and 1200 schoolchildren, India's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi is one of the most spectacular regular parade in the world[citation needed].

Every part of the country is represented in the parade, which makes the Republic Day parade very popular. A full dress rehearsal Parade is also organized on 23 January every year to take stock of the preparedness.

Beating Retreat[edit]

Vijay Chowk (Victory Square) at Rajpath, with Secretariat Buildings in the background, New Delhi, the venue of the Beat Retreat ceremony

The Beating Retreat ceremony officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities. It is conducted on the evening of 29 January, the third day after the Republic Day. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is Raisina Hills and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) towards the end of Rajpath.

Rashtrapati Bhavan and adjacent buildings, illuminated for the Republic Day.
Madras Regiment marching in the 2013 Republic Day parade.
Rajpath during the preparations for the annual parade

The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India who arrives escorted by the Presidential Body Guard (PBG), a cavalry unit. When the President arrives, the PBG commander asks the unit to give the National Salute, which is followed by playing of the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana, by the Army developed the ceremony of display by the massed bands in which Military Bands, Pipe and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters from various Army Regiments besides bands from the Navy and Air Force take part which play popular tunes like Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha at the end.[7][8][9]

Chief guest[edit]

Since 1950, India has been hosting a head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honour for Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. During 1950–1954, Republic Day celebrations were organised at different venues (like Irwin Stadium (National Stadium), Kingsway (Rajpath), Red Fort and Ramlila grounds). It was only starting 1955 when the parade in its present form was organised at Rajpath. The guest country is chosen after a deliberation of strategic, economic and political interests. During the 1950s–1970s, a number of NAM and Eastern Bloc countries were hosted by India. In the post-Cold War era, India has also invited several Western leaders on a state visit during the Republic Day. It is notable that before India fought wars with China and Pakistan, leaders from these countries were invited as state guests for the Republic Day celebrations. The Pakistan Food and Agriculture Minister was the second state guest from that country for Republic Day in 1965, a few days after which the two countries went to a war. Countries which have been invited multiple times include India's neighbours (Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Mauritius), defence allies (Russia/USSR, France and Britain), trade partners (Brazil) and NAM allies (Nigeria, Indonesia and erstwhile Yugoslavia). France has the distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum (five) number of times followed by four visits from Bhutan and three visits each from Mauritius and USSR/Russia. In 2015, the US President Barack Obama was the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebrations, followed by French president François Hollande during the 2016 Republic Day parade. In 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan from the United Arab Emirates was the Chief Guest of the parade.[10]

Guest contingents[edit]

In 2016, French Army soldiers and French Army Band took part in the 67th Republic Day parade. This marked the first time since the beginning of the parade in 1950, that a foreign army contingent marched down the Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.

Year Country Unit
2016[11] France 35th Infantry Regiment
2017[12] UAE UAE Army, Navy and Air Force


Best marching contingents[edit]

Year Best marching contingent among the three services (led by) Best marching contingent among paramilitary forces and other auxiliary marching contingents
1983 2 CHD BN NCC (Senior Under Officer Ubhey Bharti Trikha)
1991 Madras Engineer Group (2nd Lt Vivek Jaswal)
1994 3rd Gorkha Rifles ( Major J. S. Tanwar)
1996 Brigade of the Guards (Capt. Arun Malik)
1997 Madras Engineer Group (Lt Pranay Dangwal) Border Security Force
1998 Bombay Engineer Group ( Capt. Atul Suryavanshi ) Indo-Tibetan Border Police
1999 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2000 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2001 Madras Regiment Delhi Police
2002 Delhi Police
2003 Madras Engineer Group Delhi Police
2004 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2005[13] Sikh Regiment Delhi Police
2006 Delhi Police
2007 Jat Regiment Central Industrial Security Force
2008 Rajputana Rifles Central Industrial Security Force
2009[14] Territorial Army Central Reserve Police Force
2010[15] Dogra Regiment Central Reserve Police Force
2011 Indian Air Force Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2012[16] Indian Air Force Border Security Force
2013[17] Indian Air Force and Indian Navy Central Industrial Security Force
2014[18] Sikh Light Infantry Central Reserve Police Force
2015[19] Brigade of the Guards and Sikh Regiment Central Industrial Security Force
2016[20] Assam Regiment Border Security Force
2017[21] Madras Engineer Group Central Industrial Security Force
2018[22] Punjab Regiment Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2019[23] Gorkha Brigade Central Reserve Police Force

Best three tableaux[edit]

Year First Second Third
1980 Maharashtra[citation needed]
1981 Goa[24]
1983 Maharashtra[citation needed]
1988 Goa[24]
1989 Punjab[citation needed] Goa[24]
1990 Goa[24]
1991 Goa[24]
1993 Maharashtra[citation needed]
1994 Maharashtra[citation needed]
1995 Maharashtra[citation needed] Goa[24]
2000 Goa[24]
2001 Rajasthan Ministry of Railways Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir
2002 Jammu and Kashmir
2003 Goa Assam Uttar Pradesh
2005[13] Karnataka Department of Justice Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Ministry of Railways
2007[25] Odisha Ministry of Culture Maharashtra
2008 Kerala Karnataka Ministry of Human Resource Development
2009[14] Kerala Maharashtra Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir
2010[15] Ministry of Culture Goa Chhattisgarh
2011 Delhi Karnataka Rajasthan
2012[16] Ministry of Human Resource Development Goa Karnataka
2013[17] Kerala Rajasthan Chhattisgarh
2014[18] West Bengal Tamil Nadu Assam
2015[19] Maharashtra Jharkhand Karnataka
2016[20] West Bengal Tripura Assam
2017[21] Arunachal Pradesh Tripura Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
2018[22] Maharashtra Assam Chhattisgarh
2019[23] Tripura Jammu and Kashmir Punjab

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "India Celebrates 63rd Republic Day". Eastern Fare. 26 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012.
  2. ^ National Bravery Awards-2005 Press Release, Govt. of India.
  3. ^ "Chap". Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Age Correspondent (15 January 2012). "1,200 schoolkids to take part in R-Day parade". New Delhi: The Asian Age. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Curtain Raiser – Beating Retreat Ceremony 2011". Ministry of Defence. 28 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Beating Retreat weaves soul-stirring musical evening". The Times of India. 29 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Martial music rings down the curtain". The Times of India. 30 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Abu Dhabi Crown Prince To Be Chief Guest On Republic Day Next Year". Press Trust of India. NDTV. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Republic Day 2016: A look at what is special this time". The Indian Express. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b "Prizes for Republic Day Parade 2005 Participating Contingents". 1 February 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Republic Day Parade Awards Announced". 2 February 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Dogra, CRPF Best in R-Day Parade, Sangeet Natak Akademibags Tableau Award". 30 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Republic Day – 2012 Awards". 28 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  17. ^ a b "IAF, Navy adjudged best marching contingents among Services". The Times of India. 30 January 2013.
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b "Republic Day Parade – 2015 Awards Announced". Government of India. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Republic Day Parade – 2016 Awards Announced". Government of India. 28 January 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Republic Day Parade – 2017 Awards announced". 28 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Maharashtra wins best tableau prize in Republic Day parade". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 28 January 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 January 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^ a b c d e f g
  25. ^