Beating Retreat Ceremony

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 8, 2022, 8:18

Beating Retreat Ceremony is one of the oldest military traditions which is usually performed when paramilitary soldiers return to their barracks after a war. A program of entertaining band performances is shown to relieve the tensions of the situation.

The formal end of the Republic Day program in India occurs with the Beating Retreat Ceremony.

Beating Retreat Ceremony - History & Origin

  • Beating Retreat Ceremony is a centuries-old military tradition that was initiated and used to be performed when the fighting troops concluded their battle, sheathed their weapons, and retreated from the battlefield after sunset, returning to their encampment.
  • It was in the 17th century when the tradition of the Beating Retreat Ceremony became part of England's military tradition. King James II ordered his warriors to beat drums, lower flags, and organise a procession to signify the end of a day of combat.
  • Back then, the Beating Retreat Ceremony used to be termed watch setting and used to take place at dusk after firing a single bullet from the evening gun.
  • At present, the Armed Forces of many countries like the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and India perform the Beating Retreat Ceremony.
  • In India, the Beating Retreat Ceremony began in 1955 when Major Roberts of the Indian Army devised a unique massed band demonstration ceremony. Since then, it has become a mainstay of Republic Day celebrations.
  • The first Beating Retreat Ceremony in India was held by Brig Bewoor and Maj Roberts of the Indian Army's Ceremonial and Welfare Directorate.
  • The presence of a Head of State of a country as the principal guest has become an official ritual, and that year's Beating Retreat was in their honour.
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Features of Indias Beating Retreat Ceremony

  • It marks the formal end of Republic Day celebrations.
  • It takes place on the evening of 29th January, the third day after Republic Day.
  • It is organised by the Ministry of Defence's Section D.
  • It is played by bands from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, as well as Army pipe bands.
  • The ceremony is held in Raisina Hills and Vijay Chowk, a nearby area bordered by the Central Secretariat's North and South buildings, as well as the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) towards the end of Rajpath.
  • The President of India is the chief guest at the event.

Indias Beating Retreat Ceremony 2022

  • The 'Make in India' project was used to conceptualise, create, produce, and choreograph the Beating Retreat Ceremony in 2022.
  • The bands of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) performed a total of 26 performances, enthralling the audience with foot-tapping music.
  • Massed Band performed the 'Veer Sainik' melody as the opening act, and the celebration drew to an end with the ever-popular tune of 'Sare Jahan Se Acha.'
  • Commander Vijay Charles D'Cruz was the main conductor of the ceremony.
  • The drone display was organised by a startup called 'Botlab Dynamics,' with backing from IIT Delhi and the Department of Science and Technology.
  • The performance lasted 10 minutes and featured about 1,000 drones that were built using regional technology.

Beating Retreat Ceremony is a centuries-old military custom that traces back to the days when men dismounted at dusk. Drumbeats recall back the days when troops billeted in towns and cities were summoned to their lodgings at a certain hour each evening.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony is based on ancient military customs that evoke a sense of nostalgia for bygone eras.

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FAQs on Beating Retreat Ceremony

Q1. Since when was the Beating Retreat Ceremony performed in India?

Ans. The Beating Retreat Ceremony has been performed in India since 1955.

Q2. Who is the main chief guest of the Beating Retreat Ceremony?

Ans. The President of India is the main chief guest at the Beating Retreat Ceremony.

Q3. On which date is the Beating Retreat Ceremony performed in India?

Ans. The Beating Retreat Ceremony is performed on 29th January.

Q4. Who was the main conductor of the Beating Retreat Ceremony 2022?

Ans. Commander Vijay Charles D'Cruz was the main conductor of the Beating Retreat Ceremony in 2022.