Here's your 10-point cheatsheet on Republic Day celebrations:
President Droupadi Murmu, who arrived at the venue accompanied by Chief Guest Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, flagged off the parade to celebrate Republic Day from the Kartavya Path. The grand parade was a mix of the country's military strength and cultural diversity. Earlier, PM Modi, flanked by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and the chiefs of the tri-services, paid homage at the National War Memorial.
The parade kicked off with a march by a contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces -- consisting of 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
An all women contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force was one of the highlights this year. Several other marching contingents, including those of the Navy, featured women. The Naval contingent, led by a woman officer, featured 3 women, and 6 Agniveers -- soldiers in the first batch of the new armed forces recruitment scheme.
In sync with the Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) motto for the weapons systems on display, there were no Russian tanks this time. Indian made Arjun, and other systems made in India, including the Akash missile system, were on display.
Greeting people on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is special this time as it is being celebrated during the "Amrit Mahotsav" of the country's independence. "I wish that we move forward unitedly to fulfill the dreams of the country's great freedom fighters. Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians!"
23 tableaux, 17 from states and union territories, and 6 from various government ministries, depicted India's cultural heritage, economic progress, and national security.
Cultural performances were presented by 479 artistes chosen through the nationwide "Vande Bharatam" dance competition. This is the second time that the dancers have been selected through a nationwide competition.
The perennial draw of motorcycle display by the Corps of Signals' Dare Devils team thrilled the audience with several formations, including a yoga display. Eleven children who received the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar for outstanding achievement in the fields of bravery, art and culture, sports, innovation and social service were also part of the parade.
The grand finale was the eagerly-awaited flypast, where aircraft from three forces participated. The air show, with 45 aircraft, included vintage aircraft to the most modern jets in service in the Indian Air Force. The fog, however, meant that the aircraft were not as clearly visible as many would have liked. The country's new Rafale fighter aircraft performed the concluding Vertical Charlie manoeuvre. Though Rafale had been part of the parade in the last two years, this is the first time a quarter of the fleet - nine aircraft - participated in the flypast.
This year, invites were sent to people involved in the construction of the Central Vista, Kartavya Path, New Parliament Building, milk, vegetable vendors and street vendors, who were given a prominent spot in the galleries.
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