India is known as a land of festivals. We celebrate religious as well as cultural festivals throughout the year. Almost all of them are declared as holidays for schools, colleges and Government institutions. But not all of them are celebrated by everyone everywhere in the country on the same day. There are three celebrations that are held across the country on the same date every year. These three dates are called ‘National Holidays’ because they are important to India as a nation. They are – Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanthi.
Republic Day falls on January 26th. It is the anniversary of the date on which the Constitution of India was adopted by the Government in 1952. Celebrations are held in every State, but the most important one is in New Delhi. A grand parade along a long road known as ‘Rajpath’ is the highlight of the celebrations. All the 29 States and many national organizations participate. School children, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force take part too. An important foreign dignitary is invited to be the Chief Guest.
August 15th is celebrated as Independence Day by all Indians. That was the date in 1947 when our country got independence from British rule. On Independence Day too, parades are held all over the country. The Prime Minister makes an important speech from the Red Fort in Delhi.
The third national holiday falls on October 2nd – Gandhiji’s birthday. We specially remember the Father of the Nation on that day and celebrate his life and teachings. It was Gandhiji’s idea of satyagraha which helped India to win freedom from the British without a war.