Clans to take part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August

Rallying the Clans together.  Chiefs of Clans Bruce, Leslie, Macnab and Carmichael on Salisbury Crags with Edinburgh Castle below.

Rallying the Clans together. Chiefs of Clans Bruce, Leslie, Macnab and Carmichael on Salisbury Crags with Edinburgh Castle below.

Clan chiefs have been sending out rallying calls to their Clansmen and Clanswomen all over the world to come and join them at the Edinburgh Tattoo this August.  Rather than setting a fire on-top of a hill – this time they’re using the internet.

Back in 2009 many of us remember the epic Clan March up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to the Castle, Clans walking behind their banners and many with their Clan Chiefs, being cheered on by thousands of onlookers.  This was the largest Clan display by far seen in Scotland, Over 125 Scottish Clans took part in the parade . Since then Clans have had their individual gatherings and clusters of Highland games but nothing touching what happened in 2009.

Jamie Macnab – Chief of Clan Macnab said in an interview for The Times  .”It was absolutely phenomenal… I don’t think anyone who took part that weekend will ever forget it.”

Clan Douglas at the Clan Parade in 2009

Clan Douglas at the Clan Parade in 2009

So now in 2017 the Clans will be marching again – this time to the Tattoo. It will be a series of Clan Parades that will take place each night of the Tattoo. This will be a major event within the Clan-themed Events that will be happening throughout this year, backed by the Scottish Clan Event Fund.

There are 25 performances of the Edinburgh Tattoo. Tickets have been put aside for the clans to buy for each performance to make sure that as many tartan-clad clansmen, women and children attend as possible.

The Edinburgh Tattoo

The Edinburgh Tattoo

The Tattoo’s Chief,  Brigadier David Allfrey approached the Standing Council last August to gain support for his ‘Splash of Tartan’ theme for the Tattoo. This opportunity provides an excellent platform to promote Ancestral Tourism to International audiences. 2017 is Visit Scotland’s year of History, Heritage & Archaeology. The Clans will be playing a large part.

Clan Chiefs have been contacted and have signed up, now it’s all about mustering up support to get people to follow  them up the Royal Mile. Currently 53 Clan Chiefs have signed up, so each night there will be 2 Clans in the parade. Some Clans have already got 100 people signed up.

Jamie Macnab explains that this is a great opportunity to reposition the views within Scotland of Clan Heritage.  Here especially it can be seen as a bit twee – a shortbread version of Scotland, one that is just for tourists not for the people that live here.   Jamie adds:
” My hope is that our involvement in the Tattoo will get some home-based engagement and Scots will don their tartan and go, ‘Right, I’m putting my kilt on and going on my clan night.’ I mean, I think this is the first time the Tattoo has ever done anything like this so hopefully it will generate some interest.”

Clan events have always attracted people from oversees. the Convenor of the Standing Council, Sir Malcolm MacGregor has been over in the US trying to drum up support for this event.

Visit Scotland’s research has shown that history and heritage is the second most popular reason cited by visitors coming to Scotland from overseas. First was landscape and scenery.

So if you’re interested in joining your Clan – please contact your Clan Society and join in, let’s make this a great event!

For full list of clans and dates please see:


About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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10 thoughts on “Clans to take part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August

  1. James McAree

    I would like to join the Clan Society for marching in Edinburgh next August … please can you kindly send an information to me shortly.

  2. Andrew MacLeod


    Can you tell me if Clan Macleod is going to be part of this march during the 2017 Tattoo?
    I visited Scotland from Australia last year 2016 and went to Tattoo. I am planning on returning this year as well and would be keen to march with the Clan members if they are involved. Any info would be appreciated.



  3. John Donald


  4. Baden J. Burnip

    HelloAmanda and Roger.
    Looking forward to seeing the Edinburgh Tattoo in August to see the colour of the event as well as feeling the atmosphere. Surprised not to see Clan MacLachlan represented as one of the oldest Ancient Tartans. Tickets will be difficult to obtain for this year’s special Parade so it will be unlikely the I could attend, however it would have been nice to see Members of Clan MacLachlan marching in the Parade. As a new Member to the clan it would have been nice to see fellow Members in the Parade. However i will still enjoy the scene and atmosphere. Hope all the arrangements go well.
    Baden B.

    • Kenneth Gilchriest sad to, in my 70s was going to go been looking for a maclachlan second hand kilt 40ins waist towear just learning computer at my O.A.P club hope you get this, fortis et fidus. Ken. ps if you no of any body wanting to sell kilt would you let me no.

    • Amanda Moffet Post author

      You’ll need to speak to the Clan Ross Society about that, your clan chief would have been invited, David Ross, it was up to the chief and the society to organise themselves to take part in the parade and invite others from Clan Ross to attend.


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