26th January 1950 is one of the most important days in Indian history as it was on this day the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and those who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.
• India got Independence from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947.
• The national assembly signed the final English and Hindi language versions of the constitution on January 24, 1950.
• India's constitution came into effect on Republic Day, January 26, 1950. This date was chosen as it was the anniversary of Purna Swaraj Day, which was held on January 26, 1930.
• Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath as India's first president and unfurled India's national flag at the Durbar Hall in the Government House.
• Ever since the historic day, January 26 is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervor across India.
A grand parade is held in New Delhi and the event starts with India's prime minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, to remember soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. Representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and traditional dance troupes take part in the parades. India's president takes the military salute during the parade in New Delhi while state governors take the military salutes in state capitals. A foreign head of state is the president's chief guest on Republic Day.
There are many national and local cultural programs focusing on the history and culture of India. Children have a special place in these programs. Many children receive gifts of sweets or small toys. A prime minister's rally also takes place around this time of the year, as well as the Lok Tarang - National Folk Dance Festival, which occurs annually from January 24-29.