View Full Version : The Christmas Meeting 1888: the Official Start of the Faroese National Movement

Friday, March 13th, 2009, 12:29 AM
Christmas Meeting 1888

The Christmas Meeting 1888 (Faroese: jólafundurin) is considered as the official start of the Faroese National Movement.

On December 22, 1888 the only newspaper at that time in the Faroe Islands, Dimmalętting, carried the following notice:


are invited to gather in the house of Parliament on the second day of Christmas at 3 o’clock in the afternoon where we will discuss how to defend the Faroese language and Faroese traditions.

The invitation, signed by nine prominent Faroemen, marked the inception of a new era in Faroese history - the rise of the National Movement.

In spite of a raging storm and slushy roads, a large crowd of people gathered in the house of the Logting that afternoon. Speeches were made and patriotic songs were sung. The highlight of the meeting came when the poet Rasmus Effersoe recited a battle hymn written for the occasion by young Joannes Patursson. The message of the lengthy poem was evident in the first stanza:

Now the hour has come,
when we must join hands
and rally around
our native tongue.

Ours is the duty to safeguard this most precious cultural heritage, which is suffering such abasement in its own country that it doesn't stand to be saved without the will and effort of the whole nation.”


The meeting ended with the acceptance of a six point resolution:

1. As soon as there were enough Faroese schoolbooks available, Faroese should be used as an educational language in schools.
2. In history, the emphasis must be on Faroese national history.
3. In religion, all Danish rote learning should be abolished and the subject matter rendered in Faroese.
4. Priests must be free to use Faroese in and outside the Church.
5. Faroese should be used for all official ends and purposes.
6. Finally, the resolution stressed the necessity of establishing a Faroese Folk High School.