Republic Day of India
The Republic Day is widely celebrated throughout India. A characteristic feature of this holiday is the organization of festive processions in Delhi, as well as in capitals of all the states. In Delhi, it passes through the central avenue Raj Path from Rashtrapati Bhavan to the Gateway of India. The procession is formed by colorfully decorated platforms representing various states of the country to thousands of spectators gathering on both sides of the avenue. It also includes columns of schoolchildren, scouts, folk dancers, orchestras.
The Republic Day is a holiday, to which various festivals of folk dance and music, theater performances, and other cultural events are timed. In Delhi, on the dates immediately following January 26, a two-day festival of folk dances is held at the National Stadium, at which representatives of almost all states of India participate.
A curious epilogue to the celebration of the Republic Day in Delhi is the ceremony "Beating Retreat", which involves presidential guardsmen in the picturesque uniforms of almost the Napoleonic wars times. It takes place on the second day after the holiday in Vijay Chowk Square in the presence of government leaders and members of the diplomatic corps.
At sunset, combined army brass orchestras perform both bravura marches and lyrical pieces. The ceremony go back to the Middle Ages, when at the end of the day troops ceased military operations and beated retreat. With the last rays of the sun, music ceases, and the darkening sky lights up with fireworks.