The annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a spectacular show, part military part dance, that exceeds every one of the sixty five of past years. I don't know how they do it but in the quarter of an hour before the fun begins, the announcer was welcoming all manner of people from every corner of the globe - and even knew in which block they were sitting. Some had been every year, others celebrating wedding anniversaries, for others it's the first time. This began the togetherness of the 8,800 audience that ended with Auld Lang Syne at the conclusion.
It's a misconception that the evening is entirely about military personnel for at least half the 1,400 performer were dancers. The most memorable was the Changing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group. Dragons are an icon of China and this year's Tattoo celebrates East meets West. What better to celebrate the first ever UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange.
The Shetland Fiddlers, the Highland Dancers, a Bollywood Love Story from the Edinburgh Mela, the Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools Choir. The list goes on with Switzerland's Top Secret Drum Corps, South Carolina's Citadel Regimental Band, the United States Air Force Honour Guard, pipes and drums from Canada and New Zealand and the pipe band from Sydney's Manly beach. Each a veritable spectacle.
But pride of place went to Scotland's own troops as exemplified by the lone piper from the Black Watch on the ramparts of the Castle.
It would be easy to say I've seen it all before. But what gets more impressive each year is the use of lighting. No longer is it just about lighting the Castle in different colours. This year there's an appropriate and sophisticated back drop for every part of the show - spectacular. And too are the co-ordinated fireworks.
Well worth seeing!
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo runs from 7th August to 29th August 2015.