Do you know anything about Republic Day beyond the fact that It honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect and is a national holiday in India. If not, we bring before you interesting facts related to it which is sure to enrich your general knowledge.
We all know that the Rajpath has always hosted the parade, right? But wait. That’s not right. The first few venues for the parade were National Stadium, Red Fort and Ramlila Maidan.
At the first parade in Rajpath at 1955, the chief guest was Malik Ghulam Mohammad, the Governor-General of Pakistan. Though it doesn’t seem real but its true.
When the National Anthem is sung to signal the start of the parade, 21 guns are sounded as salute. While it is 21 shots that are heard, it is only seven guns that are actually fired, each 3 times.
The entire celebration is a musical affair, with several songs played throughout the parade. Most songs change, but one, which remains constant year after year, is Abide With Me. It is a Christian hymn, which was apparently the favourite song of MK Gandhi.
Ever thought how many people actually turn up at India Gate to watch the spectacular display? Will you can never guess it right. Its actually close to a whopping 2 lakh people.
You must be aware that every year, the President or Prime Minister of an overseas country serves as the chief guest for the Republic Day Parade. Beginning with the President of Indonesia in 1950 to the chief guest at the 2017 event, the Crown Prince of the UAE and President of Brazil in 2020, the heads of 56 states have attended the event.
If you are thinking that how this number can be 56, when we have celebrated 71 Republic Days so far, the answer is no guests were invited in 1952, 1953 and 1966, whereas several countries have been represented more than once. We have received the President of France the most number of times that is five times.
In 2018, heads of 10 countries graced the Republic Day Parade. These were Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, all members of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), with whom India shares warm relations.
Another interesting fact is that Indian soldiers march significantly faster than those from other countries.
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