Indian flag flying atop Red Fort, Delhi

On August 14, 1947, the Union Jack flag that flew high for centuries over the Red Fort in New Delhi, British India came down. Two days later, Independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the Indian tricolor of saffron, white and green. He began his speech in Hindi, marking the start of a tradition that continues to this day. Every year, on the eve of India’s independence from the British Empire, the Prime Minister stands on the ramparts of the 17th-century Red Fort, a protected UNESCO Heritage Site, and gives a rousing speech. ALSO READ: India Independence Day 2017: 5 Interesting Facts About Raj Ghat in New Delhi Also Read - Coronavirus: National Museum, Qutub Minar, Red Fort to Remain Closed Till March 31

This year is going to be no different. On the morning of August 15, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to be up on the ancient ramparts of the Red Fort, which served as the political center of Delhi and India for centuries under the Mughals and then the British. Modi will arrive at the Lahori Gate, one of two main gates of the sprawling Red Fort compound. He will then be guided to the saluting base, where police guards and combined inter-services of the Indian defense forces will present a general salute. Also Read - Delhi Violence: SC Lawyer Files FIR For Immediate Arrest of Tahir Hussain; Death Toll Touches 42 | Highlights

Modi will conduct a guard of honor across the moat in from the Red Fort’s massive ramparts. The fort is said to have had two moats. One was filled with water and crocodiles, while the other was grassy with tigers in it, waiting to pounce on prey. Today, though, you won’t find anything but a deep grassy trench. After the guard of honor ceremony, Modi will move towards the ramparts, walking through the gates inside the fort. There, he will unfurl the flag to the synchronized blasts of a 21-gun salute. The Air Force band will then play the National Anthem, and Modi will address the nation afterwards. NOW READ: 6 places to enjoy the true sense of freedom on Independence Day! Also Read - India Committed to Strategic Partnership With US, President Kovind to Donald Trump | Highlights

red fort

Red fort in Delhi

The program for the day will also include performances by school children and National Cadet Corps students from various schools in Delhi. The students from these government schools across India will sing patriotic songs in their regional languages. The Independence Day celebration at Red Fort marks the beginning of celebrations across India. Everywhere else around the country, you will find communities, schools, towns and cities hoisting the Indian flag in the morning and singing patriotic songs, just like what happens at the fort.

As with any other year, expect significant security and plenty of traffic restrictions everywhere around Delhi in preparation for Independence Day celebration at Red Fort. The Delhi traffic police has already issued an advisory on vehicular movement, and the area around the fort will be shut down entirely to traffic. You won’t be able to park your vehicles at Delhi metro stations, though fares will be cut by half on that day. CHECK OUT: Independence Day 2017: Here Are 4 Indian Museums Dedicated To Lesser-Known Freedom Fighters

And if you plan on watching the entirely ceremony, do make it a point to get to the fort as early as you can. Passes are not required for the Independence Day celebration at Red Fort; that’s reserved for the politicians, bureaucrats, military and VIPs, and those are front-row seats. For the general public, you can pick seats on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may not get the best seats, but the energy in the air during the ceremony is unbeatable.