From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Beating Retreat Ceremony
Mains level : Not Much
The Beating Retreat ceremony recently took place at Vijay Chowk. The ceremony, which takes place on January 29 every year, marks the culmination of the four-day Republic Day celebrations.
What is the Beating Retreat function?
- ‘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.
- The military tradition began in 17th century England, when King James II ordered his troops to beat drums, lower flags and organise a parade to announce the end of a day of combat.
- The ceremony was then called ‘watch setting’ and took place at sunset after firing a single round from the evening gun.
- The ceremony is currently held by Armed Forces in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and India, among others.
How did it begin in India?
- 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.
- Section D (Ceremonials) at the Ministry of Defence conducts the event.
- The ceremony consists of musical performances by the bands, who each year play Indian and western tunes.