World Music Day has its origins in France, but has now been adopted by over 120 nations across the world, including India.
June 21, marks the beginning of summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year and is also celebrated as Fete de la Musique or World Music Day.
Today, musicians from all genres and all ages, amateurs and experienced performers, gather together to express themselves through music at various public platforms.
World Music Day originated in France in 1980s, but was first proposed by by American artiste Joel Cohen back in 1976 to mark summer solstice.
World Music Day is celebrated as Fête de la Musique, meaning “Festival of Music” to honour both amateur and professional musicians.
In October 1981, French Minister of Culture Jack Lang appointed Maurice Fleuret as the director of music and dance.
The duo conceived an event that will allow all musicians – amateur and experienced – to express themselves.
The first World Music Day or Fete de la Musique took place on June 21, 1982 – the year’s summer solstice in the North hemisphere.
Thousands of citizens came out to part in the initiative all across France, till late at night. It later became a National Holiday.
The country hosts several concerts of both amateur and professional musicians to enthral millions of spectators.
Bars and restaurants, which usually close around half past midnight are given special permission to stay open late into the night so they can welcome the public.
Over the years, World Music Day has evolved to explore new musical trends and music from across the world, and revives traditional music.