Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual series of military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and international military bands. The event is held every summer, running over the first three weeks of August.

Each August, the capital of Scotland is flooded with tourists from all over the country and abroad. They are drawn by the so-called Edinburgh Festival, a series of arts and cultural events that includes the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Art Festival, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and more. Although the festivals are officially separate from one another, many visitors perceive them as part of the same event. Together they are regarded as the world’s largest annual cultural festival.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the most popular events within the Edinburgh Festival. It was first held in 1950 on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle. The program featured eight performances. The inaugural event attracted around 6,000 spectators which was the maximum capacity of the stands.

Since its inception, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has grown to become one of the world’s most spectacular festivals. It attracts over 200,000 people every year and it has sold out in advance for the last decade. About 30% of the spectators are from Scotland, 35% come from other parts of the UK, and the remaining 35% of the audience are foreign tourists. About 100 million people in 40 countries see the event on television.

Originally named the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the event became the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2010. Queen Elizabeth awarded the Royal title in celebration of the event’s sixtieth anniversary.

Over the years, the Tattoo has welcomed a lot of international military regiments and even African tribes. Of course, many British Armed Forces regiments participate as well. Each year has a “lead” service from the British Armed Forces. Besides, each year also commemorates or celebrates a particular event, theme, anniversary or organization.

Performances are held every evening on weekdays and twice a day on Saturdays. No performance has ever been canceled because of unfavorable weather. The highlight of the Saturday night performance is the traditional fireworks display, although pyrotechnics are used in each performance. Since 2005, it has also incorporated a sound and light show (son et lumière) projected onto the facade of the Edinburgh Castle.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a charitable event. All proceeds are donated to various civilian and military charities and organizations. It also generates almost £90 in revenue for the economy of Edinburgh.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo





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