What are the five best annual events held in Edinburgh?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Joseph Reaney

Come August, Edinburgh plays host to some larger-than-life festivals, not to mention top cultural events all year long. Here are give that you don’t want to miss:
1. Hogmanay. The first and final event on the cultural calendar, Edinburgh’s spectacular Hogmanay festival is a massive New Year’s Eve party. It includes four days of concerts, theatrical productions and multi-street parties. It all culminates in a fireworks display behind the Edinburgh Castle, a mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne and, if you’re lucky, an impromptu Gaelic dance.
2. Children's International Theatre Festival. If you are coming to Edinburgh with children, there’s no better time than May. Not only is the rain finally starting to ease, but it’s also when the Children's International Theatre Festival takes place, boasting around 15 productions of theatre, dance and music from international companies.
3. Edinburgh International Film Festival. It may not be as famous as Cannes or Sundance, but the film festival phenomenon started in Edinburgh in 1947 – and it’s still going strong today. Running for two weeks, the festival features shorts, dramatic films and documentaries in some of the most historic movie venues on earth.
4. Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. One of the largest annual military events on earth, the Edinburgh Tattoo is a spectacular display of military-based entertainment, including army band music, march choreography and theatre. What makes it even more magical is that the major events are held on the grounds of the Edinburgh Castle.
5. Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of the top arts festivals in the world, boasting more than 40,000 performances of theatre, dance, stand-up comedy and music during its annual three-week run. To get an idea of how big it is, here’s a handy stat: During the Fringe, the population of Edinburgh actually doubles.

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