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

American musician Joel Cohen conceived the idea in the year 1970. Cohen was at the time working for a French radio station and he wanted bands to play on the evening of June 21 to welcome the first day of summer.

It was finally adopted by France’s ministry of culture 1982 due to the efforts of minister Jack Lang and French composer and music journalist Maurice Fleuret, who had joined the ministry the previous year.

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

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

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”, according to France’s ministry of culture.

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.