Message from the Consul General

In August, Edinburgh is in full festival mode. Edinburgh Festival began in 1947 out of a wish to connect, heal and encourage the hearts of the people of Europe through art at a time when the scars of the Second World War were still fresh. The festival initially centered on traditional high art like plays, opera, symphony orchestras and ballet. As time passed, however, the Fringe festival also developed, showcasing performances in every field from comedy to contemporary dance, circus and puppetry. 
 
At the same time, the grand spectacle of military band performances that is the Royal Military Tattoo is being held every evening at a temporary stadium on the esplanade outside the gates of Edinburgh Castle. This year is even more special for us; the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force are demonstrating their abilities in what is the first ever performance from Japan at the Military Tattoo. They have devised a display to showcase the best of Japan, with solo singer Michiko Matsunaga also giving a wonderful performance. Michiko performs not only during the Ground Self-Defence Force display, but she also enchants the audience with her beautiful voice during the finale. This is a must-see performance for those visiting Edinburgh at the moment.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival will be held from August 12th - 28th at Charlotte Square, with authors and writers from all over the world gathering to take part in panel discussions, respond to questions and comments from the audience, and hold signings. The bookshops set up in the festival tents will be full of all sorts of books you won’t find in regular bookshop windows, and booklovers will be in seventh heaven.

Mornings and evenings are so chilly in Edinburgh in August that you wouldn’t think it was summer. However, the considerable enthusiasm generated by the cultural activities makes up for it in the end! Having said that, visitors should remember to take warm clothes when going to watch the Military Tattoo!

I hope you will all enjoy getting your fill of Edinburgh’s culture this August.