Mother Tongue Day in Estonia Date in the current year: March 14, 2016

Mother Tongue Day in Estonia March 14 is Mother Tongue Day (emakeelepäev) in Estonia. This holiday is very important for the Estonians and it commemorates the great Estonian poet Kristijan Jaak Peterson, who was born on March 14, 1801.

Kristijan Jaak Peterson is commonly regarded as the founder of modern Estonian poetry. His career didn't last long, because Peterson died of tuberculosis at the age of 21. He even didn't see his poetry published. His three German poems were published posthumously in 1823. His poetry in Estonian was gathered into two thin books and published only a hundred years after his death. Nowadays his birthday is celebrated as Mother Tongue Day.

The first celebration of Mother Tongue Day was in 1996, when the holiday was introduced by the Estonian teacher Meinhard Laks. The holiday gained national level only in 1999.

National flag is risen to celebrate Mother Tongue Day and it always happens at dawn or at 8 a.m. The flag is lowered after sunset, but if it stays risen, it should be lit.

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