Our Tattoo will feature Pipe Bands, Flowers of the Forest, Wicked Tinkers, and more!
What is a "Tattoo"?
The term military tattoo, referring to a military drum performance, dates from the seventeenth century when the British Army were fighting in the Low Countries (Belgium and The Netherlands). Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns at 21:30 hrs (9:30PM) each evening to inform the soldiers that it was time to return to barracks. The process was known as Doe den tap toe and encouraged the inn keepers to "turn off the taps", stop serving beer and send the soldiers home for the night. The drummers continued to play until the curfew at 22:00 hrs (10:00PM).
Over the years, the process became more of a show and often included the playing of the first post at 21:30 hrs and the last post at 22:00. Bands and displays were included and shows were often conducted by floodlight or searchlight. Tattoos were commonplace in the late 1800s with most military and garrison towns putting on some kind of show or entertainment during the summer months. Between the First World War and the Second World War elaborate tattoos were held in many towns with the largest in Aldershot.
One of the best known Tattoos is held on the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle each August and forms the centrepiece of the annual Edinburgh Festival. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo was first staged in 1950; it combines the traditional sounds of the Pipes and Drums with the modern aspects of the armed forces. Another well known Tattoo was the Royal Tournament which was held annually in London from 1880 to 1999. The largest tattoo in the United States is the Virginia International Tattoo, held every year in Norfolk, Virginia. Over 850 performers play traditional music and many international acts join every branch of the Armed Forces for a spectacular show. (Wikipedia)