The Edinburgh Tattoo takes place in the forecourt or “esplanade” of the Castle. This is a totally Scottish event, displaying the best of Scottish music and dancing. It’s takes place annually in August. Performances of the Military tattoos are by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth International military bands, and display teams — and fireworks!
The word “Tattoo,” is derived from “Doe den tap toe”, or just “tap toe” (“toe” is pronounced “too”), the Dutch for “last orders”. Translated literally, it means: “close the (beer) tap”. The term “Tap-toe” was first encountered by the British Army when stationed in Flanders. The British adopted the practice and it became a signal, played by a regiment’s Corps of Drums or Pipes and Drums each night to tavern owners to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire to their lodgings at a reasonable hour.
In fact, August is a pretty busy month in the Scottish capital because concurrent festivals takes place. The International Festival brings the very best in classical music, theatre, opera, dance and visual art from across the globe to Edinburgh for three exhilarating weeks. Then there’s the Fringe Festival, the world’s largest arts festival with over 40,000 performances and more than 2,500 shows packed into 250 venues across the city. It’s a blast, with musicians playing in the streets, mimes, magicians — a little bit of everything with a good deal of talent. Then there’s the Art Festival when the city’s galleries, museums and visual art spaces present the best in modern and contemporary visual arts world for the whole month of August.