Edinburgh immerses itself in art during the whole month of August. From the Castle to the Georgian New Town, the city lives and breathes arts and hosts the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts and cultural celebration in the world.
The Edinburgh Festival is a common term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in the Scottish city town each summer. The festival fever starts with the Jazz Festival and the Tattoo, followed by the Fringe, then the International Festival and the Edinburgh Book Festival.
The original festivals are the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival fringe, being the latter the world's biggest arts festival. The Edinburgh International Festival was born in 1947 to “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit” as an antidote to post-war gloom.
That same year eight theatrical companies “gatecrashed” the official Festival by organising an alternative event, which is now known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Both the EIF and the Fringe continue to be independent bodies and run separate programmes.
Today the International Festival is a marvelous mix of classical, dance, drama, and opera productions at some of the best venues of the city, such as Usher Hall and the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
The Fringe features the performing arts, especially theatre and comedy, but dance and music are also represented. The festival encourages big-name comedians to kick-off major tours and A-list Hollywood stars to do a pre-West End run in the event.
In the Edinburgh Book Festival, top authors arrive to discuss their new books and the issues of the day.
The celebrations climax with the International Festival's massive fireworks display from the Castle.