The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in Edinburg, Scotjand, each summer, mostly in August. Though the festivals are put on by various organisations unrelated to each other, and so are officially separate events, they are regarded by many visitors as part of the same event; and together they form the largest annual cultural festival in the world.
The original, and still the largest, component festivals are the Edinburh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; the latter is in its own right larger than any other similar event in the world.
The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) was established in 1947 in a post-war effort to "provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit". That same year, eight theatrical companies "gatecrashed" the official Festival by organising their own event, outside the official auspices of the EIF; this started the movement which grew into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (EFF). The EFF is also referred to as the Edinburgh Fringe, the Fringe, or (incorrectly) the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The EIF and the Fringe remain independent bodies and run separate programmes each year. In more recent years various other annual cultural festivals have been created in Edinburgh, again by separate organisations, though taking place at around the same time.