The 66th Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo aims to celebrate the richness of international culture and the creative spirit of human endeavor under the theme of "East meets West," organizers said Monday.
Running from Aug. 7 to Aug. 29, the unique event combines military spectacle, cultural performance, vibrant music and international color, all in a historic Scottish setting.
"Once again, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will place Scotland on the world stage, showcasing our rich cultural heritage to thousands of people across the world," Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop was quoted as saying in a statement.
At a press conference to launch the 2015 program, Edinburgh Tattoo chief executive and producer Brigadier David Allfrey said that the Tattoo "delivers tangible benefits in defense, foreign affairs, trade and investment, tourism and culture, heritage and the arts," generating more than 100 million pounds (156 million U.S. dollars) for the Scottish economy.
"The theme of 'East meets West' provides the opportunity for our military musicians and cultural groups from across the world to share a unique stage, to showcase their differences and their wonderful similarities," he noted.
Allfrey highlighted the strong Chinese contingent of about 150 people from Baiye Dragon Troupe of Changxing County in China's Zhejiang province making a first visit to Edinburgh to present the first set of China's national non-substance cultural heritage. The military band of the People's Liberation Army of China also performed in the Tattoo in 2004.
Xiang Xiaowei, Minister Counselor of Culture with the Chinese embassy in Britain, said that the Chinese performers "could not come at a better time" as this year celebrates the China-U.K. Year of Cultural Exchange and the 70th anniversary of 70th Anniversary of Victory of Anti-Fascist War.
Other first-timers to the Tattoo include the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard with a dynamic display of precision drill.
Moreover, a Bollywood dance extravaganza will deliver "A Bollywood Love Story" of glitz, glamour and color at the Tattoo featuring 1,200 performers from Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
With a total of 25 performances, the three-week pageant is expected to attract 220,000 visitors to Edinburgh.
Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on television.