The culturally diverse country of India celebrates literally hundreds of different festivals, events and holidays throughout their annual calendar. There are a multitude of religious festivals: Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and more are all recognised, alongside India’s national holidays in 2014.
Independence Day: 15 August 2014
On 15th August 1947 India became independent from British rule and the momentous occasion was marked by hoisting the national flag. This was undertaken by the country’s very first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Today India marks the historic day with symbolic flag-raising ceremonies, cultural events, themed parades and a speech from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Indians proudly display the national flag within their homes and vehicles and even wear themed outfits. Families and communities come together to sing the national anthem, watch patriotic movies and generally to reminisce with friends and family.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday: 2 October 2014
Each year on the 2nd of October, the birthday of the legendary civil rights and freedom campaigner Mahatma Gandhi is marked across the world. The day is also known as the International Day of Non-Violence, in line with Gandhi’s vision. Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his advocacy of non-violent civil disobedience saw him lead the Indian nationalism movement. This eventually saw India freed from British rule and the establishment of an independent nation on 15 august 1947. However jubilation soon turned to sorrow as Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January in 1948.
Make 2014 the year that you learn more about this great man at his museum and mausoleum in New Delhi. His legacy of course lives on as the world looks to emulate his high-souled ethos via his non-violent and simple lifestyle, whilst he campaigned across the world for women’s rights and an end to poverty and discrimination. There are more details included within our blog post Celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday.
Republic Day: 26 January 2015
India’s Republic Day marks the date that the constitution was implanted on 26 January 1950. The new Constitution of India replaced the outdated Government of India Act 1935 that was established by former British colonial rule. India enjoys a national holiday to mark the day, with local communities holding their own celebrations.
The largest observance is held in the capital city of New Delhi, specifically on the Rajpath – the traditional ceremonial boulevard. The avenue runs alongside canals and carefully manicured lawns and will host the annual Republic Day Parade, overseen by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee.