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Edinburgh Military Tattoo

As a part of the Edinburgh Festival in August of each year, the Edinburgh Tattoo celebrates years of music and spectacle in the prestigious and famous backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. It is one of the most spectacular shows in the world.

DateSaturday 1st August 2015 to Saturday 29th August 2015
LocationEdinburgh Castle
Web linksRelated link

Venue details

Edinburgh Castle
Castle Hill
Telephone No.0131 225 9846
Opening timesSummer
1 April to 31 October
Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 6.00pm.

1 November to 31 March
Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 5.00pm.

Last entry - 45 min before closing.
informationVenue details
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Edinburg Military Tattoo traditionally concludes its evening of the event with a flag lowering ceremony (Beating Retreat), the bugles either sounding the Last Post, or the "Sunset", a reminder of the 17th century when British Army units were stationed in the Low Countries. Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns each evening to summon the soldiers to return to barracks. The process was known as Doe den tap toe or just tap toe. The first Tattoo began in 1950 with eight items of programmes.

Over 200,000 people witness the live Tattoo on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle every year. The event is very popular with tickets generally being sold out in advance. Audiences from Scotland and the United Kingdom visit the large performances. Visitors from overseas sometimes consist of 70,000 people. Around a hundred million television viewers watch the event in the comfort of their homes.

The Tattoo has raised and donated to charitable causes serving military and civilian charities and organisations. Salute, the official magazine of Edinburgh Military Tattoo, is distributed to the sponsors and performers during the event.

Many countries besides the UK take part in the Edinburgh Tattoo since it coincides with the Edinburgh Festival. The first non-British group to participate was the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers in 1952.

The highlight of the event seems to be the massed pipes and drums. This is accomplished with the participation of regiments of the British army as well as worldwide regiments with Scottish connections.