Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are two of the best characters in all fantasy fiction, and Hobbit Day on September 22nd is the perfect time to celebrate these unlikely heroes.
September 22nd was first designated as Hobbit Day in 1978 by the American Tolkien Society. Although there are some inconsistencies between the Middle-earth calendar created by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Gregorian calendar, the 22nd of September is believed to be both Bilbo and Frodo's birthday, and the perfect opportunity to honor all excellent and admirable hobbits.
Here are 16 ways to celebrate Hobbit Day that are, in the words of Gandalf, "quite cool."
16. Re-read The Fellowship or The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring
These books are where Hobbit Day began.
Fellowship opens with celebrations for Bilbo’s 111st birthday, which is referred to as his “eleventy-first”. Explore the origins of Hobbit Day through this first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and delve into the world of Middle-earth once again.
Or, if you need a shorter read, revisit Bilbo's first adventure with The Hobbit.
15. Throw a party in honor of the ‘Long-Expected Party’
On Bilbo’s birthday, the Shire had a fabulous party. It's only right to do the same on Hobbit Day, with lots of festivities, feasts, costumes, and possibly even fireworks.
Get some friends together over Zoom, put up some fairy lights to add to the magical ambiance of the day, and organize games and other entertainment (we offer you some suggestions below!). Your fellows are sure to be enchanted, even if this year's event is virtual.
14. Dress up as a character from Middle-earth
Whether you prefer to cosplay as a hobbit or as Gandalf, Gollum, Smaug, or even Sauron, costumes are the perfect way to embrace the Hobbit Day spirit.
13. Bake some Lembas bread
This bread is a special variety of cake made by Middle-earth Elves, who say “one small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man.” The word lembas itself translates to "journey bread" in the Elvish language Sindarin.
Although the recipe is a closely guarded secret and has only been given to outsiders once, you can find a similar recipe here.
12. Choose a passage from one of Tolkien’s books and read with fellow Hobbit fans
The Lord of the Rings
Don’t feel like re-reading Tolkien’s books alone? Gather your fellow Hobbit-heads to revisit some of your favorite passages together.
If you're a teacher, a librarian, or anyone else who knows young readers, September 22nd is a great day to introduce the works of J.R.R. Tolkien to a newbie.
RELATED: 36 Must-Read Fantasy Book Series
11. Explore Tolkien’s artwork
Some fans of Middle-earth may not know that Tolkien often illustrated his ideas as he built his legendarium. Although these works are sometimes displayed in museum collections, some can also be found online.
Spend the day seeing Tolkien’s own vision for significant settings and characters such as Smaug, the eagles, and the shores of Faery.
10. Give gifts to your loved ones
When Hobbits have birthdays, they do not receive gifts. Instead, they prefer to give small presents away.
This is a form of thanksgiving that you might consider emulating by giving away trinkets to those most important to you in your life. Gifts can be new or used things. Either way, it's a great opportunity to practice gratitude for the people in your life and contribute to their happiness.
9. Wear yellow and green garb
Want to celebrate Hobbit Day stealthily? Try on a casual hobbit cosplay by wearing yellow and green, the two colors that Tolkien wrote were most favored by the hobbit race. Shoes, of course, are optional.
8. Do something good for the natural world
J.R.R. Tolkien was a lover of nature, and so are Hobbits. From The Party Tree in Bag End to rural farms and rolling hills, residents of the Shire appreciate the natural beauty of their home.
Honor Frodo and Bilbo by donating to a tree-planting campaign, eating vegetarian for the day, or even paying a trip to a park in your area (you don't need to go barefoot like a hobbit, but you do you!).
Walk through nature deliberately and with intention as you take in all the beauty around you and embark on your own adventure.
7. Attend a local birthday bash
If you live in a big city, chances are there’s a hobbit party happening near you. (And if you live in a smaller city, you can always speak with your local library about getting a tradition going!)
For instance, Los Angelean hobbits can attend a ‘Baggins Birthday Bash’ in Griffith Park on the 18th. More information on covid safety at the celebration, and whether attendees from Buckland will be welcome, can be found here.
6. Solve some riddles
Riddles are a staple in Tolkien’s books, especially in The Hobbit, in which Gollum tests Bilbo’s wit.
You and your friends can challenge each other riddle for riddle, and while the stakes of your challenge will not be as dire as they were for Bilbo, you can keep things interesting by turning it into a drinking game. v
5. Make a pilgrimage to a significant Middle-earth site
Whether it’s Hobbiton in New Zealand or Tolkien’s grave in Oxford, there are plenty of geek trips fans can make to show their Tolkien devotion. Needless to say of course, covid safety should be a priority—it’s absolutely what Bilbo would do.
4. Trivia night
Host a trivia competition for you and your friends and geek out over whose knowledge is superior! Loser buys the next round of drinks at the Green Dragon.
3. See The Lord of the Rings in Concert
Depending on where you are in the world, it may be possible to see The Lord of the Rings in Concert, in which a symphony orchestra, a choir, and solo singers perform Howard Shore’s powerful score while one of the trilogy plays in the background.
More information can be found here.
2. Make a pilgrimage to a significant Middle-earth site
Whether it’s Hobbiton in New Zealand or Tolkien’s grave in Oxford, there are plenty of trips fans can make to show their Tolkien devotion. Needless to say, covid safety should be a priority—it’s absolutely what Bilbo would want.
1. Last but not least, have a Lord of the Rings marathon!
Of course, we had to save the best for last! Re-watching The Lord of The Rings trilogy and reliving director Peter Jackson's masterpiece is an essential part of Hobbit Day.
Kick back with some of your Lembas bread and enjoy three of the best fantasy movies ever made.