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All you need to know about Republic Day Beating the Retreat ceremony

Beating the Retreat ceremony was held at Vijay Chowk in the national capital on Sunday. It marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations.

This year, 16 Military Bands, 16 Pipes and Drums Bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions participated in Beating the Retreat ceremony. Besides, one each of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) band also performed as part of the event.

Another band of the State Police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprising Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Delhi Police also took part.

In view of the ceremony, the Delhi Traffic Police made elaborate arrangements.

What is Beating Retreat Ceremony?

  • Beating Retreat Ceremony is held on January 29 every year.
  • It marks the end of four day Republic Day celebrations.
  • It takes place at Vijay Chowk every year.
  • President of India, the Supreme Commander of three defence forces, is the chief guest of this ceremony. He/ She arrives to the ceremony escorted by the President’s Bodyguards (PBG), a cavalry unit.
  • Defence forces who come to the capital as a part of Republic Day celebrations are sent back to their barracks by the President, which is what Beating Retreat Ceremony is all about.
  • The ceremony can be traced back to 1950s when Major GA Roberts from Grenadier battalion of Indian army was asked to develop a ceremony for display of the massed bands.
  • It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, and pipe bands from the Army, plus from 2016 a massed formation of bands of the Central Armed Police Forces and the Delhi Police.
  • As a part of the ceremony Colours and Standards are paraded.
  • It also marks a centuries old military tradition, when troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sound of retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered.

(With ANI inputs)