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January 26: A nation celebrates

Foreign spectators, many of them witnessing the annual event for the first time, were thrilled to see colourful military bands playing martial tunes and tastefully decorated tableaux symbolising the diverse culture of India.

"I have seen the military tattoo at the Edinburgh Castle in summer, but this is more impressive and full of colours," Pamela, a freelance writer from Scotland, said.

Nearly 1,500 children from schools in Delhi and other parts of the country enthralled the gathering with a spectacular performance of cultural programmes.

Indian Army's Amphibious Ferry and Floating system and Bridge Layer Tank pass by Rajpath during the country's 57th Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Also See: The United Colours of India

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