Dust jacket from the first edition of The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, 1937
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
The Lords of the Wind
September 22nd is Hobbit Day! "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again" was originally published September 21st, 1937 by English author J. R. R. Tolkien, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien's fantasy epic is set in a pre-historic era he called Middle Earth and was populated by humans, elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs (or goblins) and Hobbits.
September 22nd is reckoned as the Birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two beloved Hobbit characters from the Middle Earth Cycle books (The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings respectively) who accomplish great feats and amazing acts of courage.
It is in honour of these creatures and those acts that the day is celebrated with events not unlike the birthday party described in the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Fellowship of the Ring opens with a celebration of Bilbo's birthday. It was a large party with food, fireworks, dancing and much merriment.
Some Tolkien fans celebrate by having parties and feasts. Other fans simply go barefooted in honor of the Hobbits, who don't wear shoes.
Devised by Iain Boyd, from his "Lords of the Rings" Collection, this dance references the famous Great Eagles, immense birds who were sentient and capable of speech, and who often helped Men, Elves and Wizards in their quests to defeat evil. The eagles were "devised" by Manwë Súlimo, King of the Valar, and were often called the Eagles of Manwë. The original first edition dust jacket cover art for "The Hobbit" shows the first appearance of the Eagles of Manwë.
For more fun ideas on how to celebrate a Hobbit birthday, click the original painting by Tolkien of one of these eagles. This painting is believed to be based on a painting of a real golden eagle, by Archibald Thorburn, Scottish artist, animal painter and bird illustrator.