National Day of the Gong Date in the current year: June 21, 2024

National Day of the Gong National Day of the Gong is celebrated annually on June 21. It honors the unique history and cultural significance of a percussion instrument that originated in Asia several thousand years ago.

The gong is a percussion instrument consisting of a flat, circular metal disc that is usually struck with a mallet. Gongs originated in East and Southeast Asia (present-day China, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam): the word “gong” is of Javanese origin. They have been traditionally made from bronze or brass, although today many other alloys are used, including advanced materials such as stainless still and titanium, providing musicians with a wide range of tonal options.

There are many different types of gongs that can vary in size, shape, and material, but all of them can be divided into three big groups: suspended gongs, bossed gongs, and bowl gongs. The suspended gong is the most common gong type. It is a more or less flat, circular metal disk with holes near the top rim and a cord passed through the holes, allowing to suspend the gong vertically from a stand. The chau gong, also known as the bullseye gong or the Chinese gong, is probably the most recognizable example of a suspended gong.

The bossed gong, also known as the nipple gong, has a raised boss (knob) in the center. Bossed gongs have a different tone than other types of gongs and produce two distinct sounds depending on whether they are struck next to the boss or directly in it. Bossed gongs are suspended and played horizontally, due to which they are sometimes considered a sub-type of the suspended gong. They are often played in Buddhist temples across in Southeast Asia.

Gong bowls, also known as meditation or singing bowls, are bowl-shaped gongs that rest on cushions and produce sounds by being either rubbed or struck by the player. They produce a more bell-like sound as opposed to the deep resonating sound of suspended and bossed gongs.

In their region of origin (East and Southeast Asia), gongs were used in religious/spiritual rituals, official ceremonies, and traditional music. After their spread to the West, they have found many other uses. Today, gongs are used by musicians and other performance artists, in meditation and spiritual practices, and as a signal device in a number of applications (for example, in boxing rings).

National Day of the Gong was launched in 2017 by Gong to Go, a project dedicated to educating the general public about the transformational power of the gong and the ways this amazing instrument can impact the human mind, body, and spirit. The main goal of the holiday is to encourage people to learn more about the gong, enjoy its fascinating sounds, and explore the benefits of the instrument.

There are many ways to celebrate National Day of the Gong. You can read articles about the history of the gong and the many types of gongs, watch gong videos on YouTube, attend a gong performance, meditate using a gong, learn to play the gong, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalDayOfTheGong and #NationalGongDay.

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National Day of the Gong, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, gong, types of gongs