Apart from all the other colourful festivals, spending time in India during Independence Day can give you many insights into the strong national thread that binds this country of many communities and cultures.
Indians celebrate their Independence Day on the 15th of August every year, and this marks the day when the British handed over the empire to the Indians, who formed a democratic republic of their own. This public holiday is celebrated with vigour all over the country, and a visit to the country during this time can show you how!
From the Indian tri-colour waving in the air everywhere in sight to the soft strains of the national anthem playing in the vicinity, this is an eventful day that you’re sure to enjoy – if you know where to be.
If there’s one city that you should visit during Independence Day, it has to be New Delhi, the national capital. This is the destination where all the action occurs on this day. The biggest attraction during this holiday is the flag hoisting ceremony that is held in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister of the country hoists the flag at Red Fort in the city of New Delhi, and this is followed by twenty one gun shots.
You can also listen to the Prime Minister’s speech on the country’s achievements in the past year and learn about the men behind the fight for freedom as he pays homage to the country’s many freedom fighters. This is followed by a rendition of the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
The Independence Day Fair is also a very large event held in Delhi on this day. You can then witness the colourful and exciting parade that is played through every television set in the country live from the national capital. The parades organized during this day can help you experience the cultural diversity of this democratic nation.
The main parade in New Delhi will allow you to feast your eyes on the various cultural traditions of India, the diversity of its different states, the classical forms of dance and music, and snippets from the freedom struggle. Various institutions also act out important moments from India’s long history, highlighting the importance of tradition and culture.
The military bases across the country, be it cantonments, naval harbours or air force bases call upon all men in uniform, who are then adorned with medals. Travelers can visit some of these sites, like the Naval Headquarters in New Delhi, to get a taste of how the day is celebrated. They start by saluting the Indian flag, and later hold large banquets and distribute sweets. The men and women who defend the nation stand proudly while the defence chiefs oversee the celebrations.
They declare their lifelong commitment to serve the country and echo these sentiments by resolutely singing the national anthem and chanting along with patriotic songs aired on the radio.
Parades and pageants are held around the country. If you visit one of the many major cities in India, you will be able to witness the local celebrations as well. During this day, the Indian flag will adorn every part of the city, along with people’s houses, cars, and even clothing. Renditions of patriotic songs will fill your ears wherever you go and the triumphant stories of India’s victories against the British Empire will be retold.
Ideally, if you are interested in learning more about what India really is, apart from the cultural mix that it represents and the secularism that it exhibits, Independence Day is the time that you can witness all these first-hand. You will be amazed by the patriotism exhibited by people of diverse backgrounds and the amazing stories behind India’s freedom struggle.