On the picture H. E. Rajesh Prasah Ambassador of India and Jozias van Aartsen mayor of The Hague.
The Embassy of India in The Hague organized two events on January 26th, 2015 to celebrate the 66th Republic Day of India. Both began on Monday morning with a flag hoisting ceremony, followed by the National Anthem, at the Gandhi Centre in the presence of H.E. Mr. Rajesh Nandan Prasad, Ambassador of India, the staff of the Embassy of India, and distinguished guests.
Inside the Gandhi Centre’s main hall, H.E. Mr. Prasad read the President of India’s inspiring national address. A rendition of patriotic songs followed. Tea and refreshments were served to the attendees, including diplomats, dignitaries, and members of the Indian diaspora.
In the evening, the Embassy of India held a reception in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, The Hague. Guests were treated to a video of the Republic Day parade in Rajpath, New Delhi and the Tabla Ensemble with Lenneke van Staalen on the violin. The evening function attracted a significant audience; over two hundred and fifty people enjoyed this exceptional occasion.
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In addition, to mark the Republic Day, the Embassy of India organized an Indian Food Festival at the Hotel Crowne Plaza in collaboration with said hotel and the India Tourism office in Amsterdam. This is the first India Food Festival of its kind and scale held in The Hague to popularize authentic Indian cuisine.
Renowned master chefs Shri. Prat Kumar and Shri. Arjun from prestigious five star hotels in India were present The festival started on January 23rd and concluded on January 26th.
History of India’s Republic Day
Republic Day is one of three national holidays in India, the other two being Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Republic Day is celebrated in New Delhi with a grand military parade, which starts at the Raisina Hill near the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan, and continues along the Rajpath past India Gate.
The Prime Minister of India lays a floral wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti to honour the unknown soldiers. Then, the President’s Bodyguards on horseback escort the President of India to Rajpath where he joins other dignitaries to hoist the National flag. After, the National Anthem is sung and a 21 gun salute is sounded in honour of the flag.
Medals and awards of bravery are presented by the President to soldiers, civilians, and children. During the military parade, the President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The parade consists of multiple military regiments, vehicles, and Special Forces and is followed by tableaux exhibiting different cultural aspects of the various states and union territories of India.
The parade traditionally ends with acrobatics by the motorcycle units of the Armed Forces and a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets.
The Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi are broadcast nationwide by radio, television, and online live stream. It should be noted that all capitals of the different states have their own celebrations. The Republic Day celebration ends three days later on the evening of January 29th with ‘Beating the Retreat’, which is performed by the bands of the three military branches: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force