One of our must-sees while living here was The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Tattoo is an incredible display of regimental bands, mostly pipes and drums, from all over the world. It takes place in front of the Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile, as part of the Edinburgh Festivals every August. The tickets go on sale in December and sell out quickly, but luckily I remembered and we got some great seats.
The Tattoo started at 9 PM, so our backdrop included not only the castle but the sunset.
I wasn't sure what the construction equipment was for...
until we got a hybrid Stomp/Bon Jovi type show.
This included all the performing bands.
The various uniforms and tartans were definitely part of the display.
The Royal Netherlands Army Bicycle Band was impressive.
They even had a comedic break-down bit.
The Brazilian Marine Corps Band came.
They did a Carnivale piece, but the music seemed quite formal, and despite their obvious talent I was disappointed in the lack of cultural flavor. Plus the dancers seemed... local.
We then had a bit of British nautical history, and since the sun set, projections against the castle were incorporated.
Some active duty British Marines demonstrated being crew on a ship.
Two active duty Marine groups competed in assembling and disassembling the large guns.
The German Mountain Army Band brought their traditions to share!
Yep, he's playing the spoons! And they're in lederhosen, despite the cold.
Sadly, while they were skilled, they never did the Ricola ad.
They danced and sawed the log.
Then they chopped the log. Some guys came and swept this up before the next band came out.
Yeah, he had some whip-things. Like rhythmic gymnastics for mountain men?
Of course, there were Highland dancers. They did a skit of fish and fishermen.
Note the ships on the castle, and the ocean on the ground.
The "fish" are these dancers, others played the fishermen- see the Gorton's fishermen outfits in the back?
The projections got more detailed as it got darker.
A drumming performance.
All the bands playing together for the finale.
The dancers joined the finale.
The cutest mascot- who was NOT enjoying himself!
The red poppies are a symbol of the National Remembrance Day, much like the U.S. Veteran's Day. They're seen year-round, however, on cars and in windows.
Several drummers wore big cat skins.
Once again, the Scottish pipers.
The last of the pipes and drums to leave the arena.
A bit of a close-up of the uniforms as the pipers depart.