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    The Edinburgh Military Tattoo

    The world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo forms the heart of the Edinburgh Festival and provides an amazing spectacle for thousands of visitor every August. The event sees displays by the British armed forces as well as international military bands.

    The history of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo dates back to 1950, but the history of the ‘Tattoo’ itself goes much further back..

    During the War of the Austrian Succession in the eighteenth century, British forces based in Flanders were recalled to their barracks each night by army drummers who whose sounds would signal inn keepers to stop serving beer and send the soldiers away. The nightly ritual became known as ‘Doe den tap toe’ or ‘turn of the taps’. This later became ‘tap toe’ and then ‘Tattoo’.

    The event of today has grown enormously from the 9000 strong crowd of the 1950 Tattoo to well over 200,000 annually in recent years. Some 35% of these are international visitors.

    In addition to those who travel to Edinburgh to see the Tattoo first hand, 100 million people around the world now watch the event on television. The BBC presenter Tom Fleming has commentated on the Edinburgh Military Tattoo every year since 1966 !

    The 2009 Edinburgh Military Tattoo will take place 7th - 29th August. Tickets for the Tattoo always sell out in advance so be sure to plan ahead and secure yours early.

    Official Edinburgh Military Tattoo website

    Written by Shaun Flanagan

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    Edinburgh Military Tattoo