In 1947, at the end of World War II, a group of Scotsmen created the Edinburgh International Festival, a celebration of worldwide friendship and humanity. Today, several dozen festivals take place around the city at the same time during August. Collectively, the events are known as the Edinburgh Festivals and make up what some people claim is the largest annual cultural festival in the world.
The Edinburgh International Festival, with its program of classical and contemporary theater, music, dance and lectures, is still the standard bearer among the nearly 30 festivals that take place during the summer. Edinburgh Fringe, an event that began at the same time as the International Festival, has now become the largest of the celebrations; it features theater, comedy, musicals and children’s shows.
One of the most popular events among group visitors is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a parade and performance by international military bands that takes place on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle.
“We put together custom packages around any of the festivals, including the Military Tattoo,” said Sandra Thomas, director of sales and marketing at Celtic Tours. “They do a huge show with fireworks at the end and bring people from around the world to perform.
“There are other events going on around Edinburgh at the same time, and groups can choose which ones they want to go to. We usually do three days in Edinburgh, then go throughout Scotland or on to England or Ireland.”
— www.celtictours.com —