The Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh

Every year, an average of 217,000 people gather at Edinburgh Castle in order to watch the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Begun in the year 1950 with just eight items on the program, the Military Tattoo has gone from strength to strength over the years. Now images of more than 1,000 participants strutting their stuff at Edinburgh Castle are beamed by television to millions of people world-wide.

Many of the people who gather to view the event up close and personal are not locals, but have journeyed from every corner of the globe in order to see it. Named for the call to close shop in the inns in the 17th century so that soldiers would return to barracks, the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo is not just a local affair. Each year, visiting regiments also come to display their musical prowess, with the focus on the bagpipes. The first overseas regiment that participated was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers in 1952. Canada and France also had performers participating in that same year. As the years have passed over 30 countries have been represented at the Tattoo.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is so popular that it has been a complete sell out for the last six years. It has donated some £5 million to charity during its running and to date, not a single Tattoo performance has been cancelled despite unsavory weather conditions - a fact which the Scots are rather proud of. The Tattoo ends in a display of fireworks, pomp and ceremony that is a fitting climax to an amazing event.


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