September 22 is swiftly approaching! Do you know what that means? You better be prepping to celebrate Hobbit Day!
Via Adrien Aletti, Unsplash
From baking feasts fit for a Hobbit to setting the mood with some LOTR music and vibes, here are 10 of the best ways to celebrate Hobbit Day (a.k.a. Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday).
1. Dress up like Frodo and hike in the woods
There’s no easier way to celebrate Hobbit Day than to dress up like our furry-footed friend and run around a nearby forest. You don’t even need to have the full outfit!
Just try to scrounge together a few items from your closet that are shades of brown, find a large stick along the way, and you’re set for a day in the woods. However, remember not to stray too far, or else you might end up lost in the realms of Mirkwood.
2. Bake Hobbit-esque treats that Bilbo would drool over
If there’s one thing that Hobbits absolutely love, it’s FOOD! Prepare a feast fit for a Hobbit by researching some iconic recipes, either on Pinterest or YouTube.
There are so many amazing things you can make from the Tolkien universe: Elven Lembas bread, potato rabbit stew (boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew!), buttered scones, or even this extravagant Hobbit hole cake if you’re exceptionally adventurous.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Check out this video from Bryton Taylor’s YouTube channel that details how to make Bilbo’s seed cake from The Hobbit:
For even more geek-spiration, check out Popcorner Review’s DIY hobbit door cookies that you can easily bake yourself (sneak peek below!).
Via Monica Delmonico, Popcorner Reviews
3. Host a LOTR marathon (duh)
Okay, so maybe you don’t have time to watch all three extended editions, but the regular versions will do! You can’t celebrate Hobbit Day without watching at least one of the films.
Here’s a compilation of the top 5 scenes from all three extended editions:
Don’t forget to buy some Swedish Fish for light snacking—Gollum would be proud!
If you threw out your DVD and Blu-Ray player (like me, oops), never fear—you can always watch some of the extra cast interviews from The Fellowship of the Ring via YouTube!
4. Plan a long-expected party with fellow LOTR fanatics
While this might be a bit difficult depending on the current situation of the world, you can always host a safe, social distanced gathering! Sauron would even commend you and your guests for wearing face masks.
Check out Popcorner Reviews’ creative DIY guides on the second breakfast Hobbit sign, a “Speak friend and enter” welcome mat, Gandalf’s burglar mark, and Hobbit-esque herb garden maker sticks. Monica is an absolute genius when it comes to geek crafting and baking!
Image courtesy of Alyssa Hope
Also, check out some Tolkien inspiration from my friend Alyssa, who handmade every single item for her Lord of the Rings-inspired celebration a few years ago.
Image courtesy of Alyssa Hope
Talk about true geek admiration! You’ll definitely want to save all of these ideas to your Pinterest boards for future party and wedding reception planning.
Images courtesy of Alyssa Hope
Sidenote: Follow Alyssa on Twitch as she delves into the world of streaming about cosplay, SFX makeup, cocktails, and all things geek!
5. Support LOTR-related small business owners on Etsy
Online shopping has been booming more than ever this year, so why not support some creative talent who own their own LOTR-inspired shops on Etsy? Just a simple “Lord of the Rings” search will yield close to 20,000 results!
This stunning Evenstar necklace is from TimtimMol in the UK, and it’s far cheaper (and nicer) than the movie replica! I can personally vouch, since I own two Evenstar necklaces from Etsy.
Or these beautiful retro LOTR posters that would look amazing in your living room, via DanielleSylvan:
Via DanielleSylvan, Etsy
6. Cosplay as one of your favorite LOTR characters
You don’t need to break the bank or know how to sew in order to cosplay as one of your favorite LOTR characters! Just search YouTube or Pinterest for Lord of the Rings costumes, and you’ll be graciously rewarded with incredible DIY content.
You can even edit in photos of yourself in front of a Hobbiton backdrop, like Hailey does on her beautifully-curated Instagram.
5 Ways to Celebrate International Hobbit Day
Today, September 22nd, is known around the world as International Hobbit Day! It is the birthday of not one, but TWO famous hobbits of legend: none other than Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! Here are 5 ways to celebrate International Hobbit Day in true hobbit style, just the way these two unusual and heroic hobbits would love it!
1. Throw a Party
Bilbo was famous for his birthday parties, and though his One Hundred and Eleventh was a party of special magnificence, he was previously well known as a generous host with a bountiful table, welcoming to all of his friends and relations (even if he wasn’t always on the best of terms with some of those cousins). Frodo maintained the birthday tradition after Bilbo’s departure, though more often in the form of a dinner party for his nearest and dearest. Of course hobbit parties always involve plenty of food, so plan a potluck or start a roast and invite your pals over for a memorable time!
2. Give Generously
Hobbits have a remarkable (and wonderful) birthday tradition: instead of their friends giving them gifts, they give things away to celebrate! Not only is this endearing, it is incredibly practical. Do you have random things that you’ve collected over the years? Adventuring parties been leaving loot lying around? Got a mathom* or three that you just can’t use? Make a list of the folks you care about and give all of it away. You’ll clear out space and make someone’s day, and if that isn’t a great way to celebrate, I don’t know what is! Have an unusually large pile? Find a local non-profit and give to them! Bilbo would certainly approve of your generosity.
*According to Professor Tolkien: “Anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a mathom.”
3. Go Outside and Take a Walk
And I don’t mean that you’ve got to trudge barefoot all the way to Mordor! Hobbits enjoy evening strolls and weekend rambling trips where they can sniff the air, take in the stars, and visit their favorite inns for a cold, refreshing drink. Plan a camping trip or find a walking trail, or even just head down the sidewalk in your neighborhood to see where things take you. After all….
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
4. Wear Bright Colors
Hobbits always dress in bright colors, though their favorites are green and yellow. They even paint the round doors of their hobbit holes in these colors to brighten up their homes. Find something colorful and stand out while you’re heading to the post office with your latest batch of correspondence or for that dinner party you’re throwing for your companions who might or might not be worried about the little gold ring they’ve noticed you always have in your pocket….
5. Begin Your Memoir
Since your life is unique to only you, maybe it’s time to write some of it down! Have you gone on an unexpected journey? Did you find treasure that was formerly in the possession of a dragon? Maybe you’ve just got a fabulous recipe that needs to be recorded for posterity. Whatever the case, today is a good day to write things down. Send a note to your pen pals, post on your blog, add an entry to your bullet journal, or any other way you like to express yourself. After all, it’s International Hobbit Day, and hobbits do love keeping records of everything!
Bonus: Mark your calendar for January 3rd, JRR Tolkien’s birthday!
The Tolkien Society encourages an annual tradition of drinking a quiet toast to The Professor every January the 3rd, at 9pm in your local timezone. For more details, check their website.
We felt that we should add a few ways that you should NOT celebrate International Hobbit Day. Please refrain from the following:
- Stealing jewelry from your friends. We know you wants it, precious, but even if it IS your birthday, you are supposed to be giving things away, not throttling and stealing.
- Walking everywhere barefoot. This is really not appropriate at work, and it’s starting to smell weird in here from everyone’s feet. Exceptions: at home, outdoors, at the beach.
- Taking the One Ring and hiding in a cave for several lifetimes. Yes, I know you WANTS it, Precious, but this really ISN’T a good idea. Trust me.
- Terrifying and Insulting Your Various Friends and Relations. I know you were super into the books and movies, but just because Bilbo does it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Unless you’re related to the Sackville-Bagginses; if you are, then carry on.
” data-medium-file=”https://acollectivemind.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/hobbit_bilbo-gandalf-at-bag-end.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://acollectivemind.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/hobbit_bilbo-gandalf-at-bag-end.jpg?w=940″ /> Bilbo Baggins reminds us it’s never too late for an adventure.
Mae govannen, Collectors.
Although a majority of our writing focuses on comics, television, and film, the fandom that is nearest and dearest to my heart is Middle-earth. Today, we celebrate what is widely known as Hobbit Day, called such because it is the birthday for Tolkien’s two most famous protagonists: Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. If you’re secretly a Hobbit, or just really really really wish that Middle-earth was real, here’s a few ways to celebrate your favorite Bagginses in style.
Eat Like a Hobbit
If you’ve read the books, or seen the films, you know that hobbits love food. Meals for a hobbit: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. And, probably, a few pints of ale. So, tuck in, and get your favorite tea and biscuits going. Or, if you’re so inclined, try out a Middle-Earth recipe such as this one for lembas (Elvish bread).
Brush Up On Your Middle-earth Knowledge
No better way to celebrate the hobbits than by dusting off your copies of Tolkien’s The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings and reading while you snack on your lembas bread. Or, of course, you could always pop in the Blu-ray and settle in for the twelve-hour marathon. If you will be stuck in the office, like me, you can still get your Tolkien fix by listening to him read selections of his writing, such as this clip of him reading “Riddles in the Dark” from The Hobbit. (Fun fact: this clip includes what Professor Tolkien thinks Gollum sounds like.)
Gift Giving, Hobbit Style
It is the tradition of hobbits to give their guests presents on their birthdays, so be like a Baggins and buy your coworker a cup of coffee, or take your mother out to dinner. Hobbits are well known to appreciate the simpler things in life, and giving gifts for the sake of being generous is one of those things. Just, you know, be wary of giving anyone a gold ring of questionable origins.
Bonus: Ring of Fire
This fanvid mashup of LotR and Johnny Cash exists, and it’s kind of perfect.
Fans of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LOTR) and the Hobbit epic celebrate September 22 as Hobbit Day. The week containing Hobbit Day is also celebrated as Tolkien Week.
Hobbiton, the set for the movie The Hobbit, in farmland near Matamata, a small town in the north island of New Zealand.
Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week first began in 1978 by the proclamation of the American Tolkien Society, an organization whose goal is to further the study and spread the appreciation of the works of JRR Tolkien and his son, Christopher JR Tolkien.
September 22 is designated as Hobbit Day because it is the birthdate of two of JRR Tolkien’s main characters – Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist of Tolkien’s hugely popular 1937 children’s novel, The Hobbit, was born on September 22, Third Age 2890. Frodo Baggins, the central character in the LOTR trilogy, on the other hand, is 78 years younger than Bilbo, having been born in the Third Age year of 2968.
There is some debate whether Hobbit Day is on September 22 or September 12, as the LOTR and Hobbit calendar does not synchronize with the Gregorian Calendar.
How to Celebrate?
- Host parties and feasts like the ones held in the books.
- Don’t wear shoes on this day because the hobbits in the books are always barefooted.
- Attend marathon viewing sessions of the movie version of the books and participate in Hobbit and LOTR quizzes.
- If you have young adults in your life, encourage them to read Tolkien’s work.
Did You Know…
…that the Fellowship of the Rings, the first book in the Lord of the Rings series, opens with Bilbo Baggins announcing his eleventy-first birthday?
Looking up to Eru
- Oct 16, 2018
citizen of the Shire
- Oct 16, 2018
Lost in the Chetwood
- Oct 16, 2018
I always go out and try to find a hidden door in the side of a mountain, and wait to see if the last light of the sun shines on the keyhole.
- Oct 17, 2018
Looking up to Eru
- Oct 20, 2018
Nameless Thing – Yes, precisely! Hobbit Day is Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthdays. Always celebrated on September 22nd.
Durin’s Day obviously is the dwarvish new year and changes every year since it is based on the lunar calendar. I found online that supposedly they are supposedly these dates:
2018 9 October
2019 29 October
2020 17 October
2021 6 October
2022 25 October
2023 15 October
2024 3 October
2025 21 October
Although, I haven’t found anything past that.
And then I also want to start celebrating Tolkien Reading Day, which I assume is more known than the other two (perhaps?). This is on March 25th, to celebrate the date of the destruction of the ring.
Past these three, I haven’t found many concrete/important holidays. If anyone knows of any, I would love to hear! Though as I mentioned before, I have absolutely no idea just how to celebrate these events. My go-to is just to binge-watch all 9 discs (3 for the hobbit and 6 for the extended edition lotr), but I’d prefer to do something a bit more unique.
- Oct 21, 2018
- Oct 18, 2019
not from ‘Straya
- Oct 18, 2019
- Oct 19, 2019
I first read The Hobbit 46 years ago. I always interpreted “the first day of the last moon of Autumn on the threshold of Winter” to mean the first appearance of the moon (month) that ended before the beginning of winter on December 21, the winter solstice. That would always put Durin’s Day in the first three weeks of November or the last week of October. I had no idea Tolkien was using an October moon as his Durin’s Day.
What then is “the threshold of Winter”? It sounds as if Tolkien is using the moon before the moon I just described.
So I did a little searching, and here’s what might be going on.
“Midsummer Day” is summer solstice, June 21 in our calendar, “Lithe” in Tolkien’s calendar. Summer begins 46 days before Lithe, and ends 46 days after Lithe. “Winter” in Tolkien’s calendar apparently begins halfway between summer autumn equinox, September 21 in our calendar, and winter solstice, December 21 in our calendar, “Yule” (“midwinter”) in Tolkien’s calendar. That means Tolkien’s “winter” begins around our November 5.
The Shire calendar designates the month ending October Winterfilth, corresponding to Anglo-Saxon Winterfylleth in the calendar of the Venerable Bede of Jarrow. Wikipedia offers this citation from Bede for Winterfylleth:
The Dwarves were apparently using a lunar calendar, and they timed the beginning of their months by their sighting of the thin curving nail of the first appearance of the moon following a new moon. When the thin lunar crescent appeared in the sky with the setting sun – that is, the setting sun in the west and the rising crescent moon in the east – that was Durin’s Day.
Waxing moons always rise before sunset and set before sunrise. Waning moons always rise after sunset and set after sunrise. Every year, there is a “Durin’s Day”, but some years the crescent will be thinner than others: It is difficult to make out the barely-crescent moon on the horizon.
The Babylonians calculated mean lunation (the length of the lunar month) very accurately, to 29.530594 days, a figure still used (as I understand matters) by rabbis to calculate the Jewish calendar, which has been in continuous use for at least 3332 years, albeit with some minor tweaks and adjustments, and this despite the Diaspora of the past two millennia. Why the Dwarves could not track their calendar with similar accuracy, I do not know: perhaps this was a result of their diaspora, or perhaps those Dwarves who were most expert at tracking their lunar calendar were slain or scattered in Smaug’s sack and ruin of Erebor.
Here are some Frodo and Bilbo’s recipes to celebrate a Happy Hobbit Day. Read on to know more about these recipes by the Baggin’s to make the day special.
Hobbit Day is celebrated ever since the Hollywood franchise The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The franchise started with The Lord of the Rings series in 2001 and concluded in 2003. This was followed by The Hobbit series from 2012 to 2014. It is celebrated to mark the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, the most important Hobbit characters. Here are some recipes inspired by the franchise with which one can celebrate Hobbit day from the comforts of the home.
Melton Mowbray Style Pork Pies by Bryton Taylor
Image credit: inliterature.com
1.5 kg pork shoulder with bone
1 tsp anchovy essence
Bone from pork shoulder
1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
a handful of parsley
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 litres cold water
Remove the meat from the pork bones and chop up in 1 cm cubes. Stir it with the anchovy essence, salt and pepper and set it aside until further use. Place the bones in a large pan along with the pig trotters, vegetables, water, herbs and spices. Mix it well and let it simmer for over three to four hours. Then strain the stock and reduce it to 500ml.
In another saucepan, melt the lard and pour water mixing it well. Bring it to a boil and add flour mixing it again with a spoon until the mixture becomes smooth and somewhat stiff in texture. Place it in a glass bowl and cover it with a towel and set aside in a warm area for half an hour.
Take a handful of the dough and roll it evenly into circles. Roll the sides in an upward motion making a sort of bowl out of them. Spoon in the pork mixture prepared earlier. Using another bit of circle dough make a lid to close the pastry. Poke a hole on the top. Bake it in the oven for 150 celsius for one and a half hour.
In the meantime, heat up the pork jelly prepared earlier and turn into back into a liquid. Use the After the pastry comes out of the oven, pour in the pork jelly into the hole until it becomes full. Serve it hot.
Bilbo Baggins’ buttered scones by Bryton Taylor
Image credit: inliterature.com
1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp castor sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup buttermilk
Sift the flour, castor sugar, bicarbonate soda and cream of tartar together. Add the butter and rub it with the mixture and then pour in the milk kneading it into a dough. Roll it out into circles or make balls of it. Bake in the oven at 200 degree celsius for 10 minutes. Serve it hot or cool.
First and foremost, Hobbits love their homes (sometimes a little too much!). Adventures out one’s door are even seen as dangerous or unnecessary (if that’s not an apt attitude in the time of coronavirus I don’t know what is…).
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
While hobbits like Bilbo and Frodo teach us that sometimes it is important to be brave and leave our little Hobbit Homes, we also learn that the courage to go out into the world is first sustained and nourished by the safety and warmth of our hearths. The world is big and wide and sometimes we need to know we have a safe space to return to.
This Hobbit Day, let’s take time to appreciate our homes – big, little, messy, and everything in between. Let’s pick some fresh flowers for the table, light a candle, cook a meal over the stove, bury ourselves in blankets, and thank God for a roof over our heads and the opportunity to rest in a place of familarity and comfort.
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
“Though she be but little she is fierce!” Helena proclaimed of her friend Hermia in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. She could have also been speaking of our dear Hobbits, small creatures with huge hearts. They may not have the physical stature of Men or Elves – the magic, cunning, or wisdom of Wizards – or the toughness and brute strength of Dwarves – but they have the bravest hearts in all of Middle Earth.
Hobbits remind us that ‘there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.’ They remind us that home and family are worth an awful lot – and that we may need to brave the fires of Mount Doom to protect what we love. We may be small in many ways, but a noble and brave heart often saves the day.
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
There is no more stirring moment in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings then when Samwise Gamgee, seeing Frodo’s strength has failed, realizes he needs to make a Herculean effort to ensure his friend makes the last leg of the journey. Like Simon the Cyrene, Sam helps Frodo carry his Cross – shouting out, “I can’t carry [the ring] for you, but I can carry you!”
Hobbits love and value their family and friends. They create tight-knit communities and protect one another at all costs. On Hobbit Day, send a text, make a video call, or send a letter to your close friends. Let them know you’re there to help them carry their burdens, and also know that you have friends ready to help when your own cross is too heavy. Hobbits know we are never on our own – we have friends, near and far, in Earth and in Heaven, to make sure we reach the top of the mountain.
“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Adorable hobbit hole bird feeder – a gift from my sister-in-law!
Some days may seem very dark. Sometimes we are outnumbered, exhausted, and tired. Sometimes terrible things happen to good people. But Hobbits know that there is always Hope. Hobbits love a great adventure story around the fire – and they know the best stories are dangerous, sometimes frightening, but that in the end Good prevails. Hobbits have a stubborn belief in life’s ultimate goodness. Let’s remind ourselves that the best stories are filled with challenges and dark days, but that good always wins in the end.
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
the entrance to our Hobbit Hole
“I have found that it is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
― J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
Hobbits know that life doesn’t have to be complicated to be good and beautiful. In fact, the ideal Hobbit Life is a rather simple one. They are close to the land and animals. They enjoy cooking, having a drink with friends, spending time in nature, and laughing with their families. They love to smoke a pipe on their front porch while chatting with the neighbors and indulging their children. On Hobbit Day, make a list of simple pleasures that you can enjoy and appreciate right here, right now.
Hobbits also know that sometimes the bravest, noblest acts are the ‘smallest’ – the ones that happen day after day and often go unrecognized. The loyalty between friends, the love between families, the hospitality of neighbors – ‘everyday deeds of ordinary folks’ – these are the most beautiful, resilient, rebellious acts ‘that keep the darkness at bay.’
“It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.”
Hobbits have taught me so much about what life is all about. We love the ‘Hobbit Life’ so much we named our few acres of countryside “Shire Farm.” I always want this place to be filled with the comforts of home – warmth, hospitality, good food, good cheer – a welcoming refuge in a chaotic world.
Happy Hobbit Day and Happy Tolkien week, friends! Cheers to a Merrier World!
Posted by Jennifer Morell
Kick off your shoes, chow down on some mushrooms, and whip out the sparklers: it’s time to celebrate Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week. Though there are some discrepancies between the Shire and Gregorian calendars, Hobbit Day – the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins – has been celebrated on September 22nd since 1978 and is the kickoff to Tolkien Week.
Many schools, bookstores, and libraries observe the date as a way to focus on Tolkien’s work and pique the interest of new fans, but here at Quirk, we love a good party.
Throwing a great party is directly related to choosing a great location. Given that Hobbits like to throw down, space is key. Ideally, you will want to center your party around the biggest tree you can find. Banners, streamers, and fairy lights will all add to the ambiance of your party. If weather is not on your side and you really need to move things indoors, decorations can include a paper tree, a celebratory banner, and a welcome sign, such as the one above.
Entertainment is crucial for a Hobbit party. If you have the space outside, Hobbits love a variety of outdoor games. If not, riddles, rhyming games, and limericks are all excellent choices. Perhaps spend some time reading Tolkien’s work out loud. And of course, it’s not a party without music, so bust out the guitar or ukelele and have a grand time.
Hobbits like to eat and do so quite often, so a full and varied menu is important. Hobbits enjoy simple foods in large quantities, so mushrooms, pickles, and a tray of cheeses would all make excellent appetizers. For your main courses, soups, sandwiches, and mince meat pies will do. To round out the meal, serve scones, blackberry tarts, and honey cakes for desserts. Keep the wine, tea, and coffee flowing! If you need some inspiration, check out Bryton Taylor’s beautiful Hobbit spread in her food in literature series.
On your invitations, encourage your guests to dress the part, wearing earth tones with curled hair. Have a basket ready to hold their shoes. And since hospitality and community are important qualities for Hobbits, consider giving each a guest a small token of your appreciation. It doesn’t have to be the most precious ring, but a goody bag will still show that you care.
But most importantly, have a great party, and relish in the time spent with friends and family!
So how do you plan on celebrating Hobbit Day? Tell us about your parties!
Jennifer Morell is a freelance writer in New York City. She writes about music at The Ruckus and her adventures at That Long Yellow Line. Check Twitter for her thoughts on TV shows, puppies, and cupcakes: @heyjenray.