June 21st has a special meaning in the human history for thousands years. People used to gather and celebrate the longest day of a year and the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. To strengthen the importance of this particular day, various other celebrations and reasons have been added throughout years, when people gather and celebrate this unique moment.
In June 21st 2020 everything will be different. The global pandemic has changed our lives. To protect our health, billions of people have been forced to quarantine over the last three months. And although life is slowly returning to normal, large gatherings have been cancelled everywhere for the remainder of this year.
This situation forced everyone to search for different solutions and the modern technology helps a lot. So if you would like to celebrate Summer solstice in the megalithic Stonehenge, the only possibility is to do it in front of an internet screen in a safety of your home. A live stream from the site allows internet users to experience their own ‘personal Stonehenge sunrise’ wherever in the world they are.
In parts of Africa and Asia people will be also able to experience the annual solar eclipse on June 21st. For that, I suppose, there will be sufficient just to look out of a window, or walk out and experience this unique moment. No gathering is necessary.
Internet has also brought a hoax, that the world comes to an end on this very day. Would you believe that?
The same day in June is also celebrated as the International Yoga Day, to promote global health, peace and harmony.
Here in Canada, June 21st is recognized as the National Indigenous Peoples Day. But again, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government of Canada invites people to celebrate the heritage and diverse cultures of Indigenous people at home.
The annual Make Music Day suffers the same fate. Larger gatherings are still not allowed, so we will celebrate this year by playing music at home. Actually, it is not such a big deal. “Unlike traditional music festivals, Make Music Day celebrates a promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of age, background or skill level” clarifies the press release from the Make Music Alliance.
The organizers announced, that this year’s worldwide music making celebration is also going virtual due to the pandemic. But there are still many interesting music events planned for the day. Among them are Bedroom Studios livestreaming music produced from sounds sent by people; Global Livestream – an all-day video stream showcasing the rich diversity of music being made over the world; Live From Home challenge to post musical performances online; #MySongYourSong a global song swap; 25×12: Live Online Lessons with 12 hours of free group lessons on 25 different instruments; Window Serenades; World’s Smallest Marching Band; Young Composers Contest; and few others. If you are interested, you can click here to get more information and to participate in these attractive events.
My first encounter with the Make Music Day celebration was two years ago, when I organized the event here where I live in Markham. As the current situation requires, this year I will celebrate at home.
With my children we have been discussing this for a while and I was really pleased when I saw them taking the initiative. My 7-years old son on piano with my 11-years old daughter on violin or guitar have been practicing together!! (Those with smaller kids will understand those exclamation marks probably very well:-) Even my wife has dusted here quatro (a four string ukulele-like instrument from Venezuela) and has been practicing for a few weeks now.
The weather forecast for the June 21st 2020 here in Ontario is quite good. So if a thunderstorm doesn’t push us inside, with my family we will be in our backyard singing, playing and celebrating by making music.
I invite everyone to join us.
Let’s make music together, from the safety of your home!