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The Grey Wanderer

Gandalf by John Howe

Tolkien Reading Day

Mar 25

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Many are my names in many countries. Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves, Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incánus, in the North Gandalf; to the East I go not."

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954

The Tolkien Society selected March 25th as a day of special significance, marking it as the momentous occasion of the One Ring's destruction and Sauron's downfall, a detail nestled within the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Amidst the epic tales of Middle-earth, Gandalf, known as "The Grey Wanderer," emerges as a central figure. His title, 'Gandalf,' is a nod to Norse mythology, translating to 'wand-elf' or 'staff-elf,' symbolizing his profound connection to ancient wisdom and power. In the diverse tapestry of Middle-earth, the hue of a wizard's cloak serves not just as attire but as a distinction among wizards. Gandalf's cloak, a striking grey for the majority of his journey, signifies his unique path amongst his peers. Channel your inner wizard with this 48 bar strathspey which includes intriguing and meandering reels and chases for both the ladies and men, ending with a Bourrel! 📚💍🪄 ✨ ✨ ✨

The Grey Wanderer

If you are a Tolkien and Lord of The Rings fan, you may refer to yourself (or be referred to) as Lord of the Rings fans are referred to as Tolkies, Tolkienites, Erudites, Iludites, Freaks, Lotrites, Wraith-watchers, Tolkie geeks, elvites, Rivendellites, 'lotr obsessors', 'the movie people', and Tolkien freaks!

Regardless, Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year, organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages.


The 25th of March is the date of the downfall of the Lord of the Rings (Sauron) and the fall of Barad-dûr.

Tolkien Reading Day began following an enquiry from Sean Kirst, a columnist of the The Post-Standard (a paper local to Syracuse, New York), in January 2002:

My grandparents were fishing folk from Buckie in the north of Scotland, carriers of the old stories and legends, and the trilogy has filled a certain hole in my life. I have many friends here in New York who were equally moved by the book, reignited by the film, and we all wondered: is there any day devoted informally to readings from the trilogy, in the way that “Bloomsday” is devoted to Joyce?

In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf (a wizard) is referred to as Mithrandir by the elves. In the elves' language, Sindar, Mithrandir means Grey Pilgrim or Wanderer.

For more on this year's Tolkien Reading Day theme, click Gandalf!

The Grey Wanderer

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Grey Wanderer

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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