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On Monday, Obama will watch a Soviet-style display of weaponry (and camels) in India

India-Republic Day
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
In full swing.
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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.

The parade begins at the Raisina Hill, near India’s presidential palace, and passes along the Rajpath before finally concluding at the ramparts of the Red Fort. This year, it is expected to last about an hour-and-fifty-minutes.

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.

AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Soldiers march down Rajpath during a full dress rehearsal.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Members of the Border Security Force perform stunts on motorbikes.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Children perform a dance wearing colourful masks during the Republic Day drill.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Soldiers unfurl the Indian national flag during a practice session.
Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Indian Air Force personnel march during Republic Day practice.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Children perform a dance in colorful costumes during the full-dress rehearsal ahead of the Republic Day.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Three Sukhoi Su-30MKI leave a vapour trail while rehearsing ahead of the Republic Day.
AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Indian army band rehearsed for the Republic Day.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s BrahMos weapon system at the practice.
AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Members of India’s Border Security Force ride camels during the rehearsals.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
A military band practicing during the Republic Day preparations in New Delhi.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s T-90 Bhishma tanks at the Republic Day practice.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Soldiers march during the rehearsals.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
An American flag on North Block.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems at the practice.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Indian soldiers dance as they wait for the practice session to begin ahead of the Republic Day.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
Members of the Indian Navy band practice for the Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina Hill.

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