Trooping the Colours
This is a ceremony performed by the regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies since C 17th. On battlefields, a regiment’s colours, or flogs, were used as rallying points. Regiments would have their ensigns slowly march with their colours between the soldiers’ ranks to enable soldiers to recognize their regiments’ colours.
This event marked the official birthday of the British sovereign, which is held in London on Horse Guards Parade.
On this particular ceremony (usually held annually on a Saturday in June), the Queen travels down the Mall from Buckingham Palace in royal procession with a sovereign’s escort. She receives a royal salute, and inspects her troops. Music is also provided by the massed bands from the particular troops.
Other countries practicing the trooping of colours include Australia, Canada, Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Singapore and Kenya.
In Kenya, Trooping of Colours takes place on Jamhuri Day.
Jamhuri Day, also Independence Day, is a National holiday in Kenya celebrated yearly on December 12.
Having been very keen to the events that take place in this particular day, here is a list of activities you should expect this Jamhuri Day in the Central Stadium.
- The ceremony begins at 11:30 am after the President of Kenya takes the national salute and inspects the parade.
- The bad plays a slow march followed with a quick march.
- The lone drummer the breaks away to take his position besides number one guard to play the drummers call thus signaling the officers of number one guard to take positions to receive the colour.
- The escort for the colour then marches off to collect the colour as the massed KDF band plays the chosen Kenyan Tune.
- After the handover and as the escort presents arms, the first verse of the Kenya National Anthem is played.
- The escort to the colour marches off in a slow march to the tune of the British grenadier guards.
- The first tune normally played during the march is always “By land and sea.”
Other relevant facts.
- It was a strict tradition of the Kenya Defence Forces to withhold information on its activities during public holidays.
- Jamhuri Day’s celebration are usually reserved for the trooping of colours by various units of KDF.
- The history of trooping the colour is as old as formation of armies in the C 17th, which originated an old Guard Mounding Ceremony. At this ceremony, the Queen’s colour symbolized the country’s sovereignty.
- The Colonial Queen’s and Regimental Colours were superseded by todays Presidential and Regimental Colours respectively after Kenya attained independence. The colours symbolize the spirit of the Regiment.