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Beating the Retreat Ceremony

(Last Updated 05 May, 2022)

  • Dates :

    29/01/2023 - 29/01/2023

  • Location :

    New Delhi

Beating Retreat Ceremony held in the national capital of India. The Republic Day celebrations in Delhi initiate with a multi-hued parade on the 26th of January along the Rajpath. The Beating Retreat Ceremony marks the culmination of a four-day-long celebration held on the 29th of January every year. This centuries-old military tradition takes place at Vijay Chowk, or the victory square, with the backdrop of the stately Rashtrapati Bhawan.

History of Beating Retreat Ceremony

This tradition began in the 17th century when King James II ordered his troops to beat the drums, lower the flag, and organize a parade to proclaim the end of the day of the war. As soon as the soldiers heard the sound of ’retreat’, they ceased fighting, sheathed their arms, and withdrew from the battlefield. And due to this reason, the custom of standing still during the ‘retreat’ has been retained today.

‘Beating the Retreat’ is an event of national pride and is graced by the President. The flags are lowered at dusk against the backdrop of the setting sun. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, North Block, South Block, and the Parliament House are illuminated to mark this solemn occasion.

Description of Beating Retreat Ceremony

‘Beating the Retreat Ceremony’ in Delhi is observed keeping in mind the age-old tradition, according to which soldiers called a close down to the war at sunset. This call was the sound of the bugles vibrating across the battlefield calling a halt to the fighting.

This ceremony officially marks the finale of the Republic day celebrations. It starts with definite units of the armed forces performing lively executions. During the ceremony, after the live performances, a hymn is played by the bands collectively called ‘Abide with me’.

On the day of the Beating the Retreat Ceremony in Delhi, at 6 p.m., the bugles call the retreat sound, the National flag is lowered, and the National anthem is sung in musical harmony. Finally, the silhouetted riders move away from the background, which sets the conclusion of the Republic Day celebrations.

In 2022, a special composition of ‘Swarnim Vijay’ was played in the ceremony to commemorate 50 years of India’s victory in the 1971 war.

Beating the Retreat Ceremony 2023: Key Highlights

  • A unique composition of 'Swarnim Vijay' will be played at the ceremony to honor India's historic win over Pakistan in 1971.
  • This composition will be led by Lieutenant colonel Vimal Joshi and Havildar Jiwan Rasaily during a quick march at Vijay Chowk, where the Beating Retreat ceremony.
  • Other new compositions include Tiranga Senani and Nida Yodha by the Air Force band, Bharat Vandana by the Navy band, Garud Prahar and Sambodhan Eco by the Army Mil band, and Bharat Ke Jawan composition by Massed Band will also be played.
  • The bands of the Army, Navy, and Indian Air Force (IAF) along with the mass formation of bands of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Delhi Police, will perform at the ceremony.
  • Twenty bands each from the Rajputana Rifles and Punjab Regiment will also participate in the ceremony.
  • 25 bands of Rajput Regiment, 19 bands of Bihar Regiment, and at least 7 bands of Gorkha Regiment will also be part of the festivities.
  • Overall, 60 buglers, 17 trumpeters, and 60 drummers will participate in this year's ceremony.
  • Beating the Retreat 2022 ceremony will begin with 'Fanfare' composed by buglers and end with 'Sare Jahan Se Accha' composition.

Beating the Retreat Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Beating the Retreat Ceremony Held?

Ans. Beating the Retreat Ceremony is held every year from Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. The ceremony begins when the President of India arrives at Vijay Chowk in a ceremonial motorcade along with his bodyguards.

Q: What is the timing of Beating the Retreat Ceremony?

Ans. Beating the Retreat ceremony begins at 6:00 PM on the 29th of January every year.

Q: On which date Beating the Retreat Ceremony conducted?

Ans. The Beating the Retreat Ceremony of Delhi takes place on the 29th of January. This ceremony is conducted after 3 days of the beginning of the Republic day celebrations, on 26th January. The Delhi Beating the Retreat Ceremony brings a close to the Republic Day celebrations.

Q: Where to buy a Beating Retreat ticket in Delhi?

Ans. Tickets for the Beating Retreat 2023 are sold at various spots spread across Delhi. Here is the list of places where tickets are available:

  • North Block Roundabout
  • Sena Bhawan (Gate 2).
  • Pragati Maidan (Gate 1 at Bhairon Road).
  • Jantar Mantar (Main Gate)
  • Shastri Bhawan (near Gate 3)
  • Jamnagar House (opposite India Gate)
  • Red Fort (inside August 15 Park and opposite Jain Temple).
  • Parliament House Reception Office, special counter for Members of Parliament.
Q: What is the cost of Beating Retreat ticket?

Ans. The cost of the ticket ranges from INR 20 to INR 50, depending on the distance.

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