Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a series of Military displays that are performed once every year by the British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth, International Military bands and display teams. The festivities take place every evening in August (twice on Saturdays), on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, and is just one of many other festivals and events held during this month, that are collectively known as the Edinburgh Festival.
The word 'Tattoo' actually comes from the Dutch phrase 'tap toe' ('last orders'), that the British Army adopted when they were stationed in Flanders, Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. They turned the phrase into a signal that was played at a certain time each night, so that tavern owners would know to stop serving alcohol, so that the soldiers would get to bed at a reasonable time. Later in the 18th century, with the introduction of army barracks and full military brass bands, 'Tattoo' became not only a phrase, but also ceremonial evening entertainment.
In 1950, the first official Edinburgh Tattoo took place, attracting 6000 spectators. These days, 217,000 people come from all over the world to witness the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which includes performances from African Tribes as well as British Regiments! The Tattoo is a charitable event, which has been completely sold out over the last 10 years, and has not once been cancelled due to weather. Over the years, this event has raised more than £5million towards charities such as the Army Benevolent Fund.