Bengaluru: World Music Day is celebrated on June 21 in over 120 countries, every year. The day originated in France. It is celebrated as Fête de la Musique, meaning “festival of music” to honour both amateur and professional musicians.

Joel Cohen, an American musician, conceived the idea in 1970. He was working for a French radio station then. He wanted bands to play on the evening of June 21 to welcome the first day of summer.

The ministry of culture in France finally adopted it in 1982 due to the efforts of minister Jack Lang and French composer and music journalist Maurice Flauret, who had joined the ministry the previous year.

The first Fête de la Musique event was seen in the streets of Paris and it became a huge success within a few years.

In 1985, it was celebrated as the European Year of Music and, in 1997, the European Party of Music charter was signed in Budapest. This encouraged countries outside Europe to join the World Music Day celebrations.

According to ministry of culture in France, the Fête de la Musique has become an “event, which mobilises the musicians of the whole world for the pleasure of the audience of more than 120 countries, starting with the European countries”.

Several concerts of both amateur and professional musicians to enthral millions of spectators were hosted by the country.

Bars and restaurants, which usually close around half past midnight are given special permission to stay open late into the night so that they can welcome the public.