Well, it’s a little late to make September Lord of the Rings month, but I can’t let this day go by without paying tribute to the greatest of all fantasy writers, and his two heroes who share a birthday on September 22.
Today is known as “Hobbit Day” among Tolkien enthusiasts. It’s the anniversary of the day Bilbo Baggins turned 111 and vanished from the Shire, setting his nephew Frodo on a path to the most epic quest that has graced the printed page since Beowulf. I have a little plastic replica of the One Ring, which I’ve worn every year on this day since I first read The Lord of the Rings at age 10. Today I’ll also be celebrating by baking scones and having a little beer (no celebration of hobbits is complete without food). For more ambitious types, here’s a link to some party ideas for today: http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2012/09/21/how-to-throw-a-hobbit-day-party
And I’ll leave you with Bilbo’s lovely birthday speech from The Fellowship of the Ring:
“My dear People…My dear Bagginses and Boffins, and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses, and Proudfoots [Proudfeet!]. Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End. Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!
I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am. I shall not keep you long. I have called you all together for a Purpose. Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
Secondly, to celebrate my birthday. I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today. Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression.
It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel at Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say ‘thag you very buch’. I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party.
Thirdly and finally, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT. I regret to announce that–though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you–this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!”
Have a splendid day, everyone! Namarie!