International Reggae Day is celebrated on July 1. The roots of this musical genre go back to Jamaica, where reggae is an important part of the culture. It mixes rhythm and blues, African and Latin motifs, and calypso. The melody consists of a heavy 4-bar rhythm produced by conga, bass guitars, drums, and electric guitars.
This holiday is celebrated in Jamaica. Born in the 1960s on the Caribbean Sea coast, this musical genre quickly spread to all regions of the world, where it found a lot of fans. The founder of International Reggae Day is Andrea Davis, and the main purpose of the holiday was to create a worldwide party in the reggae style. The idea for International Reggae Day came to Davis in 1991 after visiting Kingston, where she heard Winnie Mandela talk about how music inspired the people of South Africa to fight against apartheid. Now many argue that this musical genre has become the voice of oppressed peoples.
Today, Jamaican-born reggae music is popular in Africa, the US, and the UK. This genre has outstanding performers, which made it world famous. These iconic musicians include Bob Marley and the Wailers, who brought reggae to the international stage.
During this holiday, reggae is glorified, keeping the freedom-loving spirit of the music intact. Celebration events bring together thousands of fans and musicians from all over the world to enjoy reggae, its culture, and its interactions with people.
- The first use of the word “reggae” was in 1968 in the song ‘Do the Reggay’ by Toots and The Maytals;
- This genre of music was added by UNESCO to the Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2018;
- Bob Marley argued that reggae’s origin goes to Spain and means ‘the music of the king’, which confirms the use of the Latin ‘regi’ in Christian gospel texts meaning ‘to the king’.
How to take part
To celebrate International Reggae Day, everyone visits Jamaica, where they take part in the festival. However, concerts in honor of reggae are held on July 1 in South Africa, Great Britain, Kenya, Brazil, and the Bahamas. You can also get into the spirit of Jamaican music at a house party, while preparing delicious Caribbean delicacies and watching a documentary on the evolution of reggae.
When is International Reggae Day celebrated in 2024?
International Reggae Day is observed on July 1 each year.