Drones light up the skies, military bands perform at ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony

This year the festival introduced some new activities including a drone show and projection mapping.

The ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, marking the formal culmination of the Republic Day celebrations, was held at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Saturday. The ceremony included a drone show and musical performances by military bands.

What activities were organized at the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony?

This year the festival introduced some new activities including a drone show and projection mapping.

The new drone show was a 10-minute show, which involved about 1,000 drones built with indigenous technology against the backdrop of synchronized music. The show is a ‘Make in India’ initiative by Botlab Dynamics, a startup supported by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and the Department of Science and Technology.

The projection mapping show ‘Beating the Retreat’ was a 3-4 minute event on the walls of the North and South blocks before the end of the ceremony.

For this year, the government has removed ‘Abide with me’, the gloomy highpoint of the conclusion of Republic Day celebrations. Written in the pre-modern world by Henry Francis Lyte, the son of Scottish Anglican minister and naval captain, the hymn is often sung which has been a fixture at Indian Beating Retreat celebrations since 1950. Played in the evening, it is also the last buglers bring down the Indian flag before retreating.

Significance of ‘Beating the Retreat’ Ceremony

The military tradition began in England in the 17th century, when King James II ordered his soldiers to beat drums, lower flags, and hold a parade to announce the end of a day of war.

The ceremony was then called ‘watch setting’ and took place at sunset after firing one round from the evening gun.

The ‘Beating the Retreat’ also marks the final celebrations of the country’s Republic Day celebrations, which began with the unveiling of a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23.

Some sections of auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, sanitation workers and frontline health workers were invited to witness the ceremony.

73rd Beating Retreat Ceremony

To mark the culmination of Republic Day celebrations, a traditional Beating Retreat ceremony was held at Rajpath, Delhi on Saturday. The highlight of the event this year was the drone and laser show.

A thousand drones illuminating the sky in various forms enthralled the audience at Vijay Chowk at the 73rd Beating Retreat ceremony. A 10-minute drone show was planned to commemorate 75 years of independence.