It’s Hobbit Day!
In Professor Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy, September 22 is the shared birthday of two famous Hobbits, Bilbo Baggins and his young cousin Frodo Baggins. The American Tolkien Society, in honor of this, designated September 22 to be Hobbit Day in 1978.
This year Hobbit Day coincides with the Autumn Equinox, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. The fall equinox arrives on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, at 3:20 P.M. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand, where Peter Jackson filmed the Lord of the Rings movies, is in the southern hemisphere. They are just beginning their Spring.
Frodo and Bilbo Baggins were hobbits, first of the Shire, but in the grander sense, citizens of Middle Earth.
Frodo and Bilbo
Bilbo Baggins was the hero of the children’s book, The Hobbit. His cousin and heir, Frodo Baggins, was the hero of the adult fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Frodo called Bilbo ‘uncle’ out of respect and affection, but was actually his first cousin once removed on his mother’s side, and his second cousin, once removed on his father’s side. Bilbo, a well-off bachelor, adopted his cousin when Frodo was orphaned.
In Peter Jackson’s LOTR movies, Frodo was played by Elijah Woods. Ian Holm played Bilbo as an old hobbit. In the 1980 Rankin-Bass movie Return of the King, Orson Bean voiced both Frodo and Bilbo. In Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies, Martin Freeman played Bilbo as a young hobbit. Freeman was also Agent Everett K. Ross in the MCU and Dr. John H. Watson in the BBC’s Sherlock.
Hobbits, of course, were well known for their love of food, their love of life, and their love of food, in that order. They loved to celebrate – well nearly anything, really. Bilbo Baggins was one of the most celebrated of all Hobbits, and so his 111th birthday (his “eleventy-first”), therefore, was destined to be a birthday party to remember.
In the spirit of the Hobbit way of life, and in celebration of the lives of two of the most important and influential characters in all the world of fantasy writing since humans first put pen to paper, we wish Bilbo and Frodo Baggins a very merry birthday indeed.
The Portalist suggested sixteen ways to celebrate Hobbit Day. You could easily combine one or more of these with your favorite fall traditions: baking molasses cookies, baking sugar cookies, drinking hot apple cider or hot chocolate or pumpkin-spiced anything, raking leaves or caring for your garden. Of course, rereading Tolkein’s books counts as well. Tolkein loved nature and the comfort of natural things, and Hobbits did as well.
No matter how you celebrate Hobbit Day, have a great holiday. Enjoy some good food and drink, especially, if you can, with friends. Reread a favorite book. Rewatch a favorite movie. Enjoy the day!
A bit of fun – here’s a fan music video edited together by Snobahr, using “Happy Birthday, Bilbo!” from “Fellowship! The Musical!”, and footage from Fellowship of the Ring.
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Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.