International Reggae Day (July 1st) is a worldwide celebration of Reggae culture and its influence in Jamaica and music around the world. Andrea Davis was inspired to start the celebration in 1994 after listening to a speech by Winnie Mandela on the power of Reggae music and its influence on the people of South Africa.
Did you know many reggae singers, like the late, great Bob Marley, follow the Rastafari discipline of Ital, which is all about life energy. Rastafarians believe that because meat is dead it opposes the energy of life.
Reggae music became well-known throughout the world by the 1970s. The music was particularly popular in the US, UK, and Africa. Many people believe that reggae music gives oppressed people a voice.
Some of the greatest reggae songs of all time include:
- “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
- “Funky Kingston” by Toots & the Maytals
- “Montego Bay” by Freddie Notes & the Rudies
- “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff
- “The Tide is High” by the Paragons
- “Red Red Wine” by UB40
- “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
- “Revolution” by Dennis Brown
- “Love is My Religion” by Ziggy Marley
- “Hold Me Tight” by Johnny Nash
Reggae, according to some, arose largely by chance when the reverb on an amp coincidentally duplicated the chord on the offbeat. It sounded fantastic, and the rest, as they say, is history…
This day is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Some ideas for how you can celebrate include watching a Reggae inspired film, cooking Caribbean food, drinking Red Stripe, wearing Reggae colours such as green, red, yellow and black and of course, enjoying some of your favourite Reggae music. There are also a number of performances taking place on this day at different venues around the world, joining the 2000 reggae festivals that take place every year worldwide. The perfect opportunity to find your new favourite Reggae artist!
There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate International Reggae Day. Whether you’re hosting a big fundraising event or just blasting your favourite Reggae tunes in your garden, as long as you’re celebrating Reggae and having a good time then you can’t go wrong!