6 interesting facts

As India celebrated its 75th Republic Day in 2024, Priyanka Agarwal Mehta, Founder and CEO of Sam and Mi, a publishing house for children’s books, shares six facts that parents can share with their kids.

Republic Day is a momentous occasion celebrated with immense pride and patriotic fervor every year on January 26. As families come together to commemorate the day when the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950, there are many interesting facts that can captivate the imagination of children. Priyanka Agarwal Mehta, Founder and CEO of Sam and Mi, a publishing house for children’s books, shares six fascinating facts about India that parents can share with their kids this Republic Day.

1. Inaugural Republic Day Parade in 1950- We know that now Republic Day parades are held at Rajpath. But the first parade held in 1950 took place at the Irwin Amphitheater, which is now Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, the parade saw the participation of over 3,000 Indian military personnel and more than 100 aircraft. This vibrant display of patriotism set the tone for the years to come, turning Republic Day into a cherished tradition.

2. Presidential Message on Republic Day– While Independence Day sees the Prime Minister addressing the nation, Republic Day has a distinct feature. It is the President of India who delivers the Republic Day message. This tradition reflects the unique significance of Republic Day as a day when the Indian Constitution, the backbone of the nation, came into effect.

3. Diplomatic Guest of Honor- Every Republic Day, India extends a warm welcome to a chosen country as the state guest of honor. The decision is made considering strategic, economic, and political interests. The head of the guest country becomes the chief guest for Republic Day, adding an international dimension to the celebrations and fostering diplomatic ties. This year President of France Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest.

4. Handwritten Constitution- Initiating discussions on Republic Day with an element of surprise, it’s fascinating for kids to discover that the Constitution of India is not printed but handwritten. Both Hindi and English versions of the Constitution exist in handwritten form, and the original calligraphed constitution is preserved in the Parliament of India, symbolizing the meticulous craftsmanship behind the nation’s foundational document.

5. “Abide with Me” and the Three-Day Celebration– The Republic Day celebrations continue beyond January 26 and officially end on January 29 with the Beating Retreat ceremony. The event is performed by the military bands of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force with The President of India being the Chief Guest of the function. The ceremony has its origin in the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. The event concludes with the ever-popular tune of ‘Sare Jahan se Acha’.

6. Bravery Awards on Republic Day Parade- The Republic Day Parade is not just a display of military prowess but also a platform to honor and recognize bravery. Awards like Ashoka Chakra, Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra, and Bharat Ratna are bestowed upon deserving individuals as a testament to their courage and commitment to the nation.

As families come together to watch the parade early morning and celebrate Republic Day, these fascinating facts can serve as conversation starters. It can also contribute to a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural significance of Republic Day in India, especially for young minds.