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Republic Day

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Republic Day is a national holiday in India. It commemorates the day that the Asian country became a republic, officially independent from the United Kingdom.

The holiday began in 1950, the year that the Indian Constitution went into effect. It is observed everywhere in the country but most prominently in New Delhi, the capital city. Most government offices, schools, and businesses are closed.

In a large ceremony, members of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force wear their fancy uniforms and march in a solemn parade on the Rajpath, the main avenue of the city. Also in the parade are camels, elephants, people on floats, and other marchers.

The parade makes its way from Rashtrapati Bhavan, where India's president lives, to the historic Red Fort. Once there, the military give the president a giant, formal salute. One of the highlights of the end of the parade is a flyover by Air Force jets, tracing the colors of the national flag in the sky.

Many people attend the parade in New Delhi. Many more watch it on television from their homes.

Graphics courtesy of ClipArt.com

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