Once upon a time, the holiday on the 26th of January meant a great many things than just a welcome break from our busy and hectic lives. Sentiments and feelings may not have changed, but there seems to be a gradual shift in the outlook. The excitement and furor of celebrating the Republic day may not have completely dwindled but has become somewhat restricted. It never was something fancy but was full of patriotic sentiments and an inexplicable excitement. Just like any other festival, there were a few rituals (nothing religious), rather, stereotypical activities that were followed, which now seem to be losing their shine. But those who have grown up in the 80s and the 90s, the simpler times, for them those were the most humble and straightforward ways of celebrating the day and occasion.

So, we looked back into time and picked up a few uncomplicated and well-intentioned activities that 21st century can continue to carry forward. Simple as they may seem, mind you, they do have the penchant to make your Republic day holiday worthwhile and momentous.

The flag hoisting ceremony and other programmes

Flag hoisting is the most important ceremony to commemorate the day. Be it a school, a government office, a residential community or any other institution; the hoisting of the National Flag by the head of the institution followed by the National Anthem is the most significant part of the celebrations. We all have those fond memories; the days of march past practice to have the perfect sync on the D-day, the crisp and impeccable uniforms with a sash in the theme of the tricolour for the parade, not to forget the special treatment to the ‘chief guest’, the fiery speeches of the sacrifices of our Freedom fighters, skits showcasing important patriotic moments in our history etc. These are not merely just performances but the expressions of our feelings for our motherland. Thus, no matter where we are, how old or young we are, participating in this, either as a performer or a spectator has been and will always be the prerogative of every Indian.

The Republic day parade at Janpath

Not everybody is lucky enough to be present in Delhi during the Republic Day. Those who are must at least once witness the grand Republic Day parade at Janpath. For the rest, the good old Doordarshan still telecasts it live on national TV. You will all agree that there is something special rather more nationalistic about watching it on Doordarshan than any other channel on that day. Coming to the parade itself, words fall short of describing its magnitude. Starting with the arrival of leaders and the chief guest, the flag hoisting by the President and then the endless display of the impeccable marchpast by our defence forces; every moment fills you with awe. The stunts and the acrobatics, the air show and the colourful display of tableaus representing the cultures of different states in the country are enlightening as they are entertaining. Then comes the bravery awards; sentimental and poignant, being a witness to them is a most humble way of expressing one’s gratitude to sacrifices of our brave hearts. So, shouldn’t every India not miss this grand exposition? We are only suggesting; the rest is up to your discretion.

Watch a patriotic movie

Why a movie some may ask. We say why not? After all, isn’t a movie made to tell a story in the most vivid and effective way? What could be more inspiring and eye opening than a movie based upon our freedom struggle and our freedom fighters? Since, Republic day is all about celebrating the pride and glory of our nation, it automatically becomes an ideal day watch a film. Well that’s what people did back in the day, not very long ago. The early morning flag hoisting ceremony, watching the Republic Day “Jhanki” and concluding the day with a patriotic movie with family and friends; there couldn’t be a better way to mark the day’s end.

Dressing up traditionally

Ah! Don’t judge us yet. We know you don’t need an occasion to put on the traditional garb, but don’t we all dress up for festivals and special occasions? A day like this, when you are participating in functions and performances that are special, the dress code calls for something that is traditional. Not a strict dress code we mean, but it’s something that just goes well with the theme. Check out the internet if you don’t believe us, even fashion houses and brands have specials for such occasions. Bring out those Kurta Pajamas, Sarees and Dupattas; we bet once in your life you must have adorned something that reflects the tricolour. If done in past, it can be applied in the present and future too; fashion trends may change but not the essence of our traditional attire.

We are not saying that not adopting the above trends make you unpatriotic. We are simply highlighting the importance of little/easy things that on such a special day such as this, can give you the feeling of being a participant.

Somewhere between inverted yoga poses and perfervid meditating, the gravitational pull of her laptop is the only thing that keeps her from levitating.