[In Pics] India’s Republic Day ‘Beating Retreat’

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
        A majestic view of the illuminated Rashtrapati Bhawan, South Block and 
North Block during the Beating the Retreat Ceremony, New Delhi 
New Delhi: Indian tunes were the flavour of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony this year also. With the tricolour waving languidly under a clear blue sky on the vast stage near the Rashtrapati Bhavan the hours-long Beating Retreat ceremony marked the culmination of Republic day celebrations at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Tuesday.  

      Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh being received by the Defence Minister, A. K. Antony at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among those who attended the spectacular ceremony where Army, Navy and Air Force bands and pipes enthralled audience.

            President, Pranab Mukherjee arrives at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony
As many as 18 of the 23 performances have been composed by Indian musicians; just five popular tunes by foreign musicians have been retained, interspersed four times with ‘Fanfare’, a collage by Buglers, and the ‘Drummers’ Call’, a traditional performance by only the drummers.

Band performing at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony
‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates a nostalgia for the times gone by.
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