Events in Scotland
One of the reasons tourists flock to Scotland in droves is the wide array of world class events the country hosts each year. Visitors travel from near and far to experience these spectacular shows, and the wealth of choice means many face tough decisions when finalising their travel plans. So for those currently struggling with that dilemma, here’s a shortlist of events you’d be crazy to miss…
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August)
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event which showcases performances by the British Armed Forces and military bands from all over the world. The show is full of song, dance and a plethora of surprises not to be missed!
The word ‘tattoo’ translates to ‘doe den tap toe’ (turn off the tap) in Dutch. It is derived from the 17th century when drummers would walk the streets as a ‘last drinks’ cry, letting soldiers know it was time to head back to barracks. The present day Tattoo is the continuation of that tradition, with military drumming providing the backbone for the spectacle.
More than 46 countries have participated in the Tattoo over the years; it is witnessed by an audience of around 220,000 people, of which 30 per cent come from overseas. Televised in many countries, approximately 100 million people watch the Tattoo worldwide.
The setting for this remarkable occasion is the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle; an historic beauty which dominates Edinburgh’s skyline. Every August the castle’s esplanade is transformed into an amazing display of light and sound, and filled with talented performers from all over the globe.
On a few occasions, the Tattoo has ventured to overseas cities, including Sydney in 2005 and 2010. The life-sized replica of Edinburgh Castle constructed for those shows took event staging to a whole new level, giving local events such as the Brownlow Medal ceremony a run for their money.
If attending this magical event is on your bucket list, be quick, as tickets don’t last long.
Hogmanay” is the term used for New Year’s Eve in Scotland, and boy do they locals know how to party! Edinburgh puts on a massive three day festival complete with a magnificent torchlight procession where thousands of participants flood through the streets. Other elements include open air concerts, a huge street party that attracts up to 80,000 people and a stunning fireworks display at the famous Edinburgh Castle.
However, you don’t have to be in Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay. Scores of restaurants and bars across the country hold celebrations with their own flavor, so there really is something for everyone.
Whether you’re in the city enjoying the amazing events organised each year, or having a quieter night with family and friends, the well-celebrated tradition of Hogmanay is one to be experienced if you have the chance.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August)
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is held in Scotland’s capital throughout August every year. It came about in 1947 when eight theatre groups arrived uninvited to the Edinburgh International Festival and continued to perform throughout the festival. Year after year more performers came, and eventually in 1958, the Festival Fringe Society was formed.
Today the festival holds over 2,000 shows in multiple venues showcasing talents from all over the world. Such performances include theatre, comedy, dance, opera, music, children’s shows and much more.
True to the festival’s roots, the Fringe continues to open its doors to any performer willing to have a go. You will see everything from small time up-and-comers trying to make it in the industry, to big named celebrities entertaining the pants off the crowds.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe isn’t the world’s biggest arts festival for no reason. It is a ‘must do’ while you’re in Scotland.
Of course, this is just a snippet of the events that play out each year. There are so many diverse and brilliant encounters to be had, so explore what Scotland has to offer and you will leave richer for the experience. Guaranteed.