What is a «Tattoo»?
The first «Tattoo» to be held in Quebec City was in 1967 for the 100th anniversary of the Canadian confederation. It had been organised by the Canadian Army. The word has its roots in the Dutch expression «tap toe» or «tap-shut» which meant the closing of inns. This word was linked to the noise made by mallets shutting the beer barrels. That noise sounded like a drum. Thereafter the word was used to name the last military call at the time of curfews.
In the 1700’s Dutch villages, drummers were criss-crossing the streets beating the measure, telling the soldiers it was time for them to get back to their barracks. The beating rhythm of the drums meant also the last call for the inn tenders to close. Thereafter the vocal goes from «tap toe» to «tattoo». The word was kept through the generations and is now used to announce a large mass military celebration offered as an evening entertainment.
Today, «Tattoos» are extraordinary events where hundreds of musicians from dozens of Bands share the spotlight in marching routines, military ability and artistic demonstrations. The world’s greatest military Tattoos are held in Edinburgh castle of Scotland, Oslo in Norway, Stockholm in Sweden and Hamina in Finland.