Article 48

“Announcing the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012”

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From 31 October to 3 November 2012, the magnificent Castle of Good Hope will proudly host the seventh Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012.

The word “tattoo” is derived from a centuries-old military ritual, which originated in the Low Countries during the 80 Years’ War in the 16th and 17th centuries. Each evening, before nightfall, patrols would be sent out to warn off-duty soldiers that it was time to return to the garrison for the evening parade and guard duties. Tavern-keepers would be ordered: “Doe den tap toe!” (Close the taps on your beer-barrels). All the armies in the Low Countries adopted this nightly ritual. Over the centuries, it became a unique and colourful show, known as a “tattoo” in English, “taptoe” in Dutch and “Zapfenstreich” in German.

Published on the Reserve Force Division Website in October 2012.

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