A bill of legislative amendments passed its first reading in the Riigikogu on Tuesday according to which January 30 will be declared Estonian Literature Day and made a flag day and the days on which Estonia's Song and Dance Festival and Youth Song and Dance Festival take place will be made flag days as well.
To be amended by the bill are the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act and the Estonian Flag Act.
"Literature helps us feel and understand life around us, enriches our vocabulary and brings people and generations together," Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE) said when introducing the bill for its first reading, according to a press release. "Estonian literature keeps our language alive and rich and has helped shape our identity. It's time to give literature its own proper day and declare January 30 a day of national importance and flag day."
January 30 was the birthday of Estonian author Anton Hansen Tammsaare, the author of the "Truth and Justice" pentalogy, which is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature.
The proposal to declare Estonian Literature Day a flag day was submitted by Tallinn Literary Center.
"Our more than 150-year-old Song and Dance Festival tradition likewise deserves to be celebrated with the blue, black and white [flag]," the minister continued. "It's already so great to see how national flags are voluntarily raised during the festivals — so let's celebrate our festivals together with a flag day."
Making the days the Song and Dance Festival and Youth Song and Dance Festival take place official flag days pays homage to everyone who has maintained the Song and Dance Festival tradition over the past century and a half and acknowledges those who continue to carry it on, the ministry noted.
The proposal to add the days on which the Song and Dance Festival and Youth Song and Dance Festival take place to Estonia's list of flag days was submitted by the Estonian Song and Dance Festival Foundation.
Under the Estonian Flag Act, the Estonian flag is flown by state and local government institutions as well as public legal entities on all flag days.
Editor: Aili Vahtla