New Delhi is the capital of India. It is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and serves as the seat of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The city was planned by Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century British architect. The city is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and houses numerous national institutions and landmarks. The total area of the city is 42.7 km2.
The climate of New Delhi is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cwa) with high variation between summer and winter temperatures and precipitation. The temperature varies from 40 degrees Celsius in summers to around 4 degrees Celsius in winters. New Delhi's version of a humid subtropical climate is noticeably different from many other cities with this climate classification in that it features long and very hot summers, relatively dry winters, a monsoon and dust storms. Summers are long, from early April to October, with the monsoon season in between. Winter starts in November and peaks in January. The annual mean temperature is 25 °C (77 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 14 °C to 33 °C (58 °F to 92 °F). The average annual rainfall is approximately 714 mm (28.1 inches), most of which is during the monsoons in July and August.
The native language of Delhi residents is Hindi, which also happens to be the national language of India. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak fluent Hindi. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English. Punjabi is also an official language, but it's spoken much less widely.
New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city due to the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural presence of the vast Indian bureaucracy and political system. The city's capital status has amplified the importance of national events and holidays. National events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday) are celebrated with great enthusiasm in New Delhi and the rest of India. On India's Independence Day (15 August) the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort. Most Delhiites celebrate the day by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom. The Republic Day Parade is a large cultural and military parade showcasing India's cultural diversity and military might.
Religious festivals include Divali (the festival of light), Guru Nanak Jayanti, Baisakhi, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Maha Shivaratri, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Christmas and Mahavir Jayanti. The Qutub Festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event. Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi.