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Beating Retreat Ceremony 2022: History, Significance and What’s New This Year

By: Lifestyle Desk

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Last Updated: January 28, 2022, 14:18 IST

The musical troop of the Indian Armed Forces will include 44 buglers, 75 drummers, and 16 trumpeters who will chime in sync and play 26 tunes. (Picture credits: PTI)

The musical troop of the Indian Armed Forces will include 44 buglers, 75 drummers, and 16 trumpeters who will chime in sync and play 26 tunes. (Picture credits: PTI)

The Beating Retreat ceremony finds its roots way back in 1690 when the ceremony used to signify the disengagement of the troops and an end to a battle at sunset.

On January 26, the nation witnessed the splendid display of cultural diversity, military might, and noble initiatives as part of the Republic Day parade. The 73rd Republic Day also highlighted the 75 years of India’s independence with the one-of-its-kind flypast containing 75 aircraft. In addition, the Rajpath and the spectators on it were blessed with the sight of vibrant tableaux of various states in the country.

Naturally, an extravagant event such as this calls for an equally extravagant culmination. Hence, Republic Day is always brought to an end with a ceremony known as Beating Retreat. Conducted on January 29 at Vijay Chowk, the Beating Retreat ceremony marks the official end of the Republic Day celebration. This recurring event has been the norm for more than 70 years. So, let’s take a glimpse into the very fabric of how this ceremony came into existence.

What is the Beating Retreat ceremony?

The Republic Day celebration is formally concluded with the Beating Retreat ceremony. The President of India is the chief guest for the event, and the function is organised and held by the Indian Army. The ceremony completely transforms the environment around Vijay Chowk by filling it with illuminations, rhythmic sounds, and patriotism.

The Journey So Far

The Beating Retreat ceremony finds its roots way back in 1690 when the ceremony used to signify the disengagement of the troops and an end to a battle at sunset. Drums used to play a vital role as the beats used to direct the soldiers to lay down their arms and retreat for the day. The Beating Retreat used to be a symbol of withdrawal from the battleground as the flags were lowered at the first blow of the buglers and trumpets.

The ceremony reached Indian grounds during the early 1950s when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited post-Independence India for the first time. Major Roberts of the Indian Army was called by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, to arrange for something spectacular and unique for the Queen’s visit.

This was when Major Robert uttered the idea of a Beating Retreat ceremony concocted by the armed forces and their associated bands. Since then, the Beating Retreat has become an inseparable part of the Republic Day celebrations, where guests from various nations are invited to witness the galore of our country.

Beating Retreat Ceremony 2022

The Beating Retreat Ceremony will be a bit different this year as the nation celebrates the ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ pertaining to 75 years of independence. The musical troop of the Indian Armed Forces will include 44 buglers, 75 drummers, and 16 trumpeters who will chime in sync and play 26 tunes.

The tunes played this year will see an interchange of the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ with the C Ramachandra composed, ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon.’ In addition, no Bollywood tunes will be included in the discography of the Beating Retreat Ceremony 2022.

Apart from the changes in tunes, there is a special addition to the ceremony. This year, around 1000 drones will light up the sky and put on a mesmerising laser show for the guests. The laser show is being organised by a start-up called Botlab, which, in association with the Defence Ministry, has geared up the drones to put together a marvellous show of lights.

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first published:January 28, 2022, 14:18 IST
last updated:January 28, 2022, 14:18 IST
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