Monday, June 22, 2009

Fête de la Musique

The summer solstice is upon us once again. Historically, this change of season marked significance with various ancient cultures, often being celebrated with lavish festivities. The French have adapted this idea into a modern day celebration by taking advantage of partying on the longest day
of the year. Every June 21st you can expect to see La Fête de la Musique (or Musical Party in English) taking center stage in France. That means that free concerts are held celebrating this form of artistry.

So, how did this national event get started? According to "La Fête's" website, in 1982 the Director of Music and Dance, Maurice Fleuret, discovered that one out of two children played a musical instrument. This survey inspired him to create a day honoring the people's musical talent—and voila La Fête was born.

That means that no matter where you live in France, there will be some sort of musical spectacle, where neighbors gather for the festivities. In Paris and other large cities, don’t expect to see just one, but rather, hundreds and hundreds of mini-concerts everywhere a band can fit.

From rock and pop to jazz and classical, there is a bit of everything here. If you just have your feet follow the sounds that are calling to you, you will be sure to find something that fits your musical taste. You can even enjoy a meal or a glass of wine at a café. Inevitably there will be one band or another playing nearby.

Needless to say, if you thought you were going to sleep on this night, you better bring out a double dose of earplugs. Or better yet, just go outside and enjoy the music too. You can kick up your heels and put on your party hats. June 21st is about an evening of fun—and boy are you going to have it!

Thanks for reading and bonne journée!