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Edinburgh is known around the world for its Festivals- notably the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh's Hogmanay, the New Year celebration that takes place across the city, culminating in the Street Party and fireworks at Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh's role as a Festival city began in 1947 with the founding of the Edinburgh International Festival, which was created after World War 2 to help 'foster the flowering of the human spirit'. Alongside the invited companies, 8 companies who had not been invited decided to turn up and perform anyway, and in this action the open-access Edinburgh Festival Fringe was born. The Edinburgh International Film Festival was founded the same year, making it the longest continually running Film Festival in the world.
There are also a number of smaller festivals that happen year round, including a Jazz Festival (July), Science Festival (April) and also the Scottish Storytelling Festival in October.
An overview of the major Festivals in Edinburgh can be found here.