Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2016 is the most famous military performance in the world. It is held during the month of August as the centerpiece of the larger Edinburgh Festival, which occurs from mid-August through the first week of September. Under the umbrella of the Edinburgh Festival are the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Art Festival, the Jazz and Blues Festival, the Comedy Festival, and several other smaller festivals. Together they make up one of the most important summer festivals in the world. More than 200,000 people attend the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle alone, and upwards of 3 million attend other events.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo History
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo has its roots in the seventeenth century when the British Army occupied Flanders (what is now Belgium and parts of the Netherlands). The phrase "tap toe" (with "toe" pronounced as "too") is Dutch for "last orders." British pipers and drummers took up the practice of signaling to the local tavern keepers to turn off the taps to their ale kegs and send the drinking soldiers back to barracks for bed. The first Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle was held in 1950, three years after the first Edinburgh Festival. Today, the climax of each evening's performance is the playing of a pibroch by a lone Highland bagpiper on the castle battlements. A pibroch is a tune played to honor fallen comrades.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo Location
Edinburgh Castle, with the simple address of Castlehill, is located on a prominent hill in the center of the city directly above the Princes Street Gardens. It is one of the most famous of the Scottish castles and has played an important part in the history of Scotland. The Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle is played out on the castle's Esplanade, a broad courtyard and parade ground surrounded by bleachers and VIP viewing stands. It takes place every evening except Sundays from August 5 to 27.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo Tickets
Tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2016 are in high demand. Chances are good of getting a ticket because of the number of performances. However, if your time in the city is limited, it pays to start looking for tickets months in advance to ensure getting in to the performance of your choice. Prices range from approximately $40 to approximately $90 per performance. One way to ensure you have tickets for the evening you wish to attend is to book one of the UK vacation packages that will generally include tickets if you've booked a date that coincides with the festivals.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo Lodging
You can't get much closer to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2016 than by staying at the elegant Witchery By the Castle. It is located at the very end of the Royal Mile right at the castle gates and boasts the same simple but prestigious address as the castle. You may however want to be farther away from the nightly crowds or require something for a more modest budget. You have a wide choice of dozens of properties throughout the city including historic hotels, charming bed and breakfasts, and good solid budget properties.
Image: www.theedinburghblog.co.uk (flickr)