Republic Day, along with Independence Day are the two most important dates in India’s history that gave the people of India their long-fought freedom. On this 74th Republic day of India, let us educate our children about this landmark date to give them a perspective of our country’s history and its freedom struggle.
Republic day in India is celebrated every year on January 26th. Every year, the parade on January 26th is organised at Rajpath in New Delhi, but did you know that Rajpath was not the organising centre for the celebration from 1950 to 1954? The 26th January procession was staged at Irwin Stadium (now National Stadium), Kingsway, Red Fort, and Ramleela Maidan during these years.
Rajpath became the permanent location for the parade on January 26th, AD 1955. At the time, Rajpath was known as 'Kingsway,' but it is now known as Kartavyapat h.According to information obtained through RTI, the parade event at the 2014 parade cost approximately 320 crore rupees. This amount was approximately 145 crores in 2001. Hence, from 2001 to 2014, the expenditure on the 26th of January parade climbed by 54.51%. When you discuss the day with your kids, you are likely to face some questions from them.
What is the meaning of Republic?
Republic is the opposite of Monarchy. The word republic means that which is public. So all decisions are to be made by the people. Since it is not possible to make every decision of the country after consulting all citizens, the nation is run by representatives chosen by the people. This is the meaning of being a Republic.
Why is Republic Day celebrated?
On 15th August 1947, India attained independence from British rule. This day is celebrated as Independence day. Thereafter, on 26th January 1950, the constitution of India came into effect. So this day is celebrated as Republic Day. A constitution is the set of basic rules and regulations that govern the nation. Every decision-making done by the government has to abide by the constitution. Dr. B.R Ambedkar wrote the constitution of India and it is the longest written constitution in the world.
Let us have a look at some of the activities you can do with your little ones to help them appreciate this Republic Day, 2023
1. Watch the parade: A definite thing to do is to watch the Republic Day parade on your television. Make it exciting for your children to wake up early that day so as not to miss out on the live telecast. The parade is one of the best shows put up in India and definitely a must-see for all children. It will help them witness the diverse cultures of India and understand the contribution of the armed forces in keeping the country safe. Better still get tickets and view the parade live.
2. Make an India book: Look through newspapers and magazines with your little ones and cut out India-related pictures. eg: the Indian flag, the national bird, the national animal, currency, father of the nation, first prime minister/president, important monuments, pictures of the armed forces, etc. Now take a few A4 sheets of paper and cut them in half. Staple them together to form a book. Ask your child to stick the cut-out pictures onto the book and give a heading to each picture. Label the book as ‘My India Book’.
3. Read a book on India: Talking about books, reading is the best form of learning. So read out a book about India to your little one. ‘A Children’s History of India’ by Subhadra Sengupta is a good one for slightly older children. For young ones, you can pick a nice picture book.
4. Make the Indian Flag: Engage your kids in making a tricolour flag. Give them a piece of paper or cardboard with some paint and ask them to paint the Indian flag. The best flag gets to be hoisted at your home!
5. Cardboard art: Take a rectangular piece of cardboard and make lines with a pencil to draw the outline of the flag. Give your little one some masoor dal for saffron, rice for white, green moong dal for green, and rajma or lobia for the pole. Take a little blue food colour and add it to some of the rice to get the Indigo colour of the Ashok Chakra. Let your kid apply glue on the cardboard flag and stick the pulses to make the tricolour flag.
6. Dress up in traditional outfits: It's common to wear tricolour clothes on Republic Day. Instead switch things up this year and wear matching traditional outfits with your child to better experience the rich cultural heritage India has to offer.
7. Tricolour sandwiches: Take 4 slices of bread and cut the corners. Ask your child to apply butter on each of the slices. Give green chutney for the colour green, shredded paneer, or cheese cubes for white and tomato chutney for saffron, to your child. Spread the green chutney first on a slice of bread and then top it with another slice. Add cheese. Top it with another slice of bread. Add tomato chutney. Close with the 4th slice of bread. Cut the sandwich into triangles to reveal beautiful-looking tricolour sandwiches!
8. Tricolour buntings: Cut out several leaf-shaped pieces from orange, green, and white chart paper. I used leaf shapes, you can choose to make anything of your choice, say flowers, circles, triangles, stars, etc. Take a long enough string or ribbon. Get your child to staple the shapes onto the ribbon in orange, white, green pattern to form a bunting. Hang it at the entrance of your house.
9. Ice-cream stick art: Take 12 ice cream sticks and ask your child to paint 3 each in saffron, white and green colours. Stick them together using Fevicol to form the Indian flag. Paint the Ashok Chakra in the white center using Indigo paint. To make it sturdy enough, stick 2-3 ice cream sticks vertically at the back.
10. Republic Day quiz: There’s nothing better than ending republic day with a republic day quiz. Quiz your child about republic day and India’s history and you’ll be surprised to see how much they learned today!
In conclusion, kids are going to love these activities and there’s nothing better than making such an iconic day in Indian history more memorable for them. These activities will make your kids proud and help them develop a sense of patriotism.
Hope you enjoy doing these fun activities with your kid this Republic Day!