Top events and festivals of Edinburgh

People at Fringe Festival, photo by tabsybelle/flickr

The capital city of Scotland is the second largest city of the country and one of the most attractive. It is visited annually by dozens of tourists, being the second most visited cities of the United Kingdom. One of the major attractions of the city are the several fantastic festivals. They say that festivals are what Edinburgh does best. The great variety of events and festivals in the town take place throughout the year. The famous Edinburgh Festivals which is actually a group of official and independent festivals held annually in August attracts a number of visitors roughly equal to the settled population of the city. Perhaps the best-known event of these is the Edinburgh Fringe which is considered the largest performing-arts festival in the world. Other well-known events are the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Hogmanay street party and the Beltane Fire Festival.


Edinburgh International Festival


Being the centerpiece of Edinburgh’s summer festivals, it is part of the Edinburgh Festivals program. The event was founded in 1947. This fantastic festival is perhaps the most exciting and innovative festival of performing arts of the world, including dance, music, theatre, opera and visual arts exhibitions. During the three weeks festival millions of tourists visit the city of Edinburgh. In 1999, the festival moved to a permanent home in The Hub which is an architectural pearl of the city located a couple of minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Castle. In 2011, the International Festival celebrated the spectacular cultures of Asia and attracted artists from China, India, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam amongst others. The 2012 festival will be held between the 9th of August and 2nd of September.


Edinburgh Fringe


It is the largest arts festival of the world which hosts a range of spectacular events and performances. In 2011, the Fringe featured about 40.000 performances of 2.500 shows across 250 spectacular and varied venues. With almost 1.9 million visitors, the Fringe has everything, ranging from theatre to children’s shows and from exhibitions to music and comedy. During the festival, the Fringe takes over the city’s historic Royal Mile and art house venues. The festival is a truly unique and remarkable experience that has launched the careers of many stars including among others Jude Law, Hugh Laurie and Billy Connolly. The 2012 festival will take place between the 3rd and the 27th of August.


People at Fringe Festival, photo by tabsybelle/flickr


Edinburgh International Book Festival


The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a two weeks event with writers, poets, novelists and intellectuals from around the world. Edinburgh is the first city in the world that was named a UNESCO City of Literature. Visitors can admire the cultural landmarks and streets that have inspired famous writers such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Ian Rankin or J. K. Rowling. With hundreds of author events, debates and workshops, the book festival takes place in the Charlotte Square Gardens, converting it into a picturesque village and attracting about 220.000 visitors every year. The highlight of the event is the high profile debates and discussion series where writers from all around the world gather. The 2012 festival will be held between the 11th and the 27th of August.


Edinburgh Mela Festival


The festival is one of Europe’s largest and most important multicultural events. It is surely a unique and truly unforgettable experience where the city’s international community comes together to celebrate the cultural diversity with music and style. The word ‘mela’ means ‘gathering’ in Sanskrit. The Mela Festival is usually held in Leith, a couple of minutes from downtown Edinburgh. The event includes various visual exhibitions, dancing, theatre and film performances. The 2012 festival will run from the 31st of August to the 2nd of September.


Performer at Edinburgh Mela Festival, photo by robertsharp/flickr

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