Boasting a line-up of nearly 1000 performers from the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and international military bands, this extravaganza, live on the esplanade of Edinburgh’s scene-stealing castle, attracts more than 200,000 spectators every year. The festival’s grand finale brings together all of the regiments for an explosive close.

Why: The word ‘tattoo’ derives from the phrase “doe den tap toe”, a Dutch term for “last orders” adopted by the British Army’s Corps of Pipes and Drums to signal when tavern owners should turn off the taps to their beer kegs, so soldiers would go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Do it because: The event has grown from an eight-item programme in 1950 to the sell-out monster it is today, taking in regiments from Oman to Brazil. Elaborate pyrotechnics and lighting lend bags of atmosphere to the stirring perfomances. Don’t miss it. 

Edinburgh, Scotland
Until August 25


Image: Getty

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