Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Scotland
DAY 3 – We arrived in good time and the stands were already filling up. It was quite nippy, but thankfully it wasn’t raining. I can’t imagine what it’d be like watching the show in the cold and wet. Back home, the Tattoo is televised on New Year’s Day every year and it was amazing to be here to watch it live. What makes it so special is Edinburgh Castle in the backdrop.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place in August and is the prime event of the Edinburgh arts festival. Tonight is the last show for the year and it was full house.
The Military Tattoo began in 1950 as the Army’s contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival. Today, it is a truly international event which enjoys vast numbers of local and overseas visitors – approximately 217,000 visitors annually. It’s good to know that The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes and has gifted some £5 million over the years to service and civilian organisations.
Performers from over 40 countries have been represented at the Tattoo and the first overseas regiment to participate in 1952 was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadier. The massed pipes and drums of the Scottish regiments, usually incorporating guests from as far afield as South Australia, are at the core of any Tattoo. There were marching bands, cultural dances and the motorbike dare devils were pretty impressive. Normal performances of the Tattoo are timed to allow an appreciation of Edinburgh Castle silhouetted against the post-sunset light. When it’s dark, the Castle is lit in different colours and its quite a spectacle.
At the end of the performance, a lone piper plays Amazing Grace from the Castle, making us all break out in goosebumps. The Tattoo is well worth the experience.