December 3rd marked not only the day I presented for the first time at the Basque Lecture Series, but to open the presentation, we also celebrated Euskara Eguna, or Basque Language Day.

The International Day of the Basque Language, annually celebrated on December 3rd, was institutionalized by the Basque Government and the Royal Academy of the Basque Language (Euskaltzaindia) in 1995.

However, its origins go back to 1948, when the 7th Congress of Eusko Ikaskuntza-the Society for Basque Studies reached the following agreement: “a day of the Basque language will be celebrated worldwide once a year on December 3rd.” Following that proclamation, Euskara celebrated its first International Day in 1949 to vindicate the universality of the Basque Language.

December 3rd is St Francis Xavier Day, in honor of a missionary from Navarre born in the 16th century. According to the legend, his last words before dying on December 3rd 1552 were in Basque.

On the occasion of the International Day of the Basque Language, public and private entities alike, as well as various associations, organize several activities (roundtables, exhibitions, workshops, conferences, cultural performances, etc.) to celebrate and support Euskara. Check out any of the following events to help spread the Basque language and culture!

(courtesy of Basque Language Books in Boise, Idaho)

Check out some of our books on the Basque Language by visiting:

Basque Language Books

So, Happy Basque Language Day everyone!