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.