TALLINN - March 14 is Native Language Day in Estonia and to mark the occasion, all state and local government authorities and legal persons governed by public law are to hoist the Estonian flag.
Everyone else may also hoist the flag for the occasion, according to the Government Office. Flags are hoisted at sunrise or at 8 a.m. at the latest and lowered at sunset. If a flag is not lowered, it must be illuminated in the dark.
Native Language Day will start in front of the Government Office in Kadriorg with President Alar Karis reading out Estonian-language from sunrise at 6:41 a.m. with known public figures from culture, education and research as well as actors, musicians, artists, filmmakers and athletes continuing the action until sunset at 6:21 p.m.
At 10:25 a.m., a traditional e-dictation will take place on public broadcaster ERR's Vikerraadio radio channel. People can put their grammar skills to the test on Vikerraadio's website at vikerraadio.err.ee.
Choosing the Language Deed of the Year is also part of the Native Language Day tradition. The first prize in the competition is chosen by Estonian ministers of education and research and the people's choice award is decided in a public vote. The winners will be announced at the Ministry of Education and Research in Tartu at 4 p.m. on March 14.
The Native Language Day is dedicated to the Estonian language and is celebrated on the birthday of Estonian poet Kristjan Jaak Peterson. The tradition was initiated by Estonian language teacher Meinhard Laks.