On Jan. 26, 1950, India celebrated its first Republic Day, as a few thousand members of the nation’s armed forces marched down Irwin amphitheater, now Delhi’s National Stadium, before a crowd of some 15,000.
Since then, the parade—the highlight of Republic Day—is held at Rajpath, a boulevard in central Delhi, every year. It includes colorful tableaux, motorbike stunts and India’s finest weapons.
More than half the world’s leaders have attended the celebrations as the guest of honor. This year, US president Barack Obama will be watching the troops march down, making him the first American president to attend the event.
As India gears up for its 66th Republic Day, Quartz brings you some of the best pictures from its preparations.