What does it take to be revered as Scotland’s largest and most popular event? Forty-five steel drummers, 40 Shetland fiddlers and 35 Zulu warriors will all play integral parts in this year’s 65th annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland’s premiere musical event. This year, the cultural extravaganza—which runs from August 1 – 23 at the Esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle—will revolve around the theme of “Our Home, Friends and Family,” in honor of the Year of Homecoming.
Tattoo organizers say they have put together the largest gathering of pipes and drums in some time. They also coordinated over a hundred highland dancers and all three Scottish Royal Marine Bands to give the 220,000-strong audience a vibrant showcase of folkloric dance displays, historical re-enactments and military demonstrations. In total, musicians and performers from nearly 50 countries will perform to create a momentous event that will be televised in more than 30 countries to roughly 100 million audience viewers worldwide.
Fun fact: According to the Tattoo’s official site, the word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries: ‘‘Doe den tap toe,” “Turn off the taps.”
The actual performance lasts for 90 minutes, but visitors are advised to leave plenty of time for the journey into central Edinburgh and get settled into their reserved seat. Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes as there’s an uphill walk and a number of steps from where the buses are allowed to park. Furthermore, a warm wrap or coat is recommended for the Scottish evening air that—even in summer—can be quite chilly.
Celebrity Cruises guests can explore Scotland’s biggest spectacle with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Shore Excursion, available as part of the Infinity’s British Isles cruisetour. For complete detailed information on this event and other exciting, once in a lifetime experiences, please explore our upcoming shore excursions.
If you’d like a preview of the wonder of the Military Tattoo, click the play button below.