Beating Retreat Ceremony
Beating Retreat ceremony is a military function . It is conducted on the evening of 29 January to officially end 3 days long republic day ceremony. “Beating Retreat” is held at the Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
“beat a retreat” means to run away from a dangerous or unpleasant situation.
according to ancient war protocol troops used to stop fighting at sunset.So this ceremony revives ancient war custom.
British empire has the tradition of celebrating beating retreat.
In India, The ceremony was started in 1950. when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was visiting India for the first time after independence, the then Prime minister Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru summoned Maj G A Roberts asking him to do something spectacular for the Queens visit. Thereafter it became official ceremony.
The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India.
When the President begins to arrive, a Fanfare is sounded by the trumpeters of the Brigade of the Guards on their natural trumpets.after that national anthem is played at the same time the Flag of India is unfurled.
The main function starts by the massed bands of the three services marching in unison. they play popular marching tunes like Colonel Bogey March, Sons of the Brave and Qadam Qadam Badaye Ja etc. the Indian army band performs forward march, quick march, slow march, a compound march which involves complex but beautiful formations.
One such beating retreat ceremony was held in 1982 Asian Games New Delhi closing ceremony.
from 2016 army band performs Symphony Orchestra and Traditional Ensemble using a mix of Western and Indian traditional instruments.
The drummers, mostly from the Army’s pipe bands, give a solo performance, known as the Drummer’s Call.
the last tune Abide With Me is played. this tune was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal favorite hymns.
At exactly 6 pm, the buglers sound the retreat and the National Flag is lowered with the national anthem.
The band master then marches to the President and requests permission to take the bands away and informs that the closing ceremony is now complete. The bands march back playing a popular martial tune and the official march of the Armed Forces, Sare Jahan se Accha.
As soon as the bands cross Raisina Hills a spectacular illumination display is set up With the click of a button, a thousand bulbs light up the Rashtrapati Bhavan and adjoining buildings.