Ministry calls for Estonian Literature Day to become national holiday

Monument to author A. H. Tammsaare in Tallinn's Tammsaare Park.
Monument to author A. H. Tammsaare in Tallinn's Tammsaare Park.

The Ministry of Culture wants to create a new national holiday honoring Estonian literature on January 30, the anniversary of well-known author Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1979-1940).

The ministry said making Literature Day a national holiday would show the state values culture and literature in Estonian society.

"One of Estonia's main goals has to be preserving and developing our language and culture. Language preserves and develops through literature," an explanatory note written by the ministry said.

"The day should be celebrated on January 30, on the birthday of Anton Hansen Tammsaare. The Tallinn Literature Center made the proposal of changing Literature Day to a Flag Day."

According to the draft, everybody can celebrate the day as they choose.

"The day could include writing essays at schools, children's literature competitions, public reading and commenting of classics, capturing their memory, literary walks to the creators' homeland, gatherings of literature lovers, giving out reader awards etc. These are only some ideas that would give a special meaning to the day in the calendar and inspire delving into Estonian literature."

Literary scholar Rein Veidemann was the first to make a proposal to include January 30 as one of the national holidays as a day of Estonian literature in a speech given at the 140th anniversary of Tammsaare on January 30, 2018.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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