The Estonian parliament passed a bill on 7 December geared at marking 30 January as the Estonian Literature Day and a flag day, and updating the list of flag days by introducing the Estonian Song and Dance Festival Day and Estonian Youth Song and Dance Festival Day.
The amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act were supported by 70 members of the parliament.
“This is a lovely patriotic bill that helps develop and promote our native language, maintain our tradition of song and dance festivals and celebrate Estonia,” MP Jaak Juske from the Social Democratic Party said.
“Estonian literature definitely deserves its own day and the perfect date has been selected for it on the birthday of the author Anton Hansen Tammsaare. I hope many people will hoist the flag in celebration of our literature and authors on 30 January next year,” he said.
Juske added that the modern Estonian nation was born in the spirit of song festivals.
“At the first song festival in Tartu in 1869, we literally sang ourselves into being a modern Estonian nation. During the Singing Revolution more than 30 years ago, we restored our independence. It is a great idea to mark this great festival that sees the entire nation come together by also celebrating it as a flag day,” he said.
Proposals to update the list of flag days were made by the Tallinn Literary Center and Estonian Song and Dance Festival Foundation. The corresponding bill was initiated by the culture ministry.