The Hobbit is 80 years old today.
September 22nd is the Birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's popular Middle Earth Cycle books (The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings respectively) in which Hobbits, typically between two and four feet tall and nothing like your usual hero, 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. In The Lord of the Rings, it marks the day of Bilbo’s 111th Long Awaited Party, whereas in The Hobbit, it is the day poor, wet Bilbo arrives by barrel in Laketown.
Hobbit Day is perhaps the oldest running day celebrated by fans. Although the day was not officially designated until 1978 and has had many names and designations, it has been celebrated since 1973, shortly after J.R.R. Tolkien died on September 2nd of that year.
Fans celebrate by anything from going barefoot all day and having seven meals, to literary discussions and readings, Lord Of The Rings movie marathons, and throwing parties in honour of the "Long Awaited Party" at the start of the Fellowship Of The Ring with events such as feasts, games, costumes and fireworks.
The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 22:
- Birth of Bilbo in the Shire (1290*)
- Bilbo and the barrels reach Lake-town just after sunset (S.R. 1341)
- Birth of Frodo in the Shire (1368)
- A long expected party!! (1401)
- Bilbo and Frodo’s birthdays (1418)
- The Black Riders reach Sarn Ford at evening (1418)
- Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax (1418)
- The hundred and twenty-ninth birthday of Bilbo and Frodo’s fifty-first birthday (1419)
- Sharkey (Saruman) in the Shire (1419)
- Bilbo’s hundred and thirtieth birthday. Frodo’s fifty-second birthday (1420)
- They meet the Last Riding of the Keepers of the Rings in Woody End (1421)
- Master Samwise rides out from Bag End (1482)
* this is Shire reckoning of time, for Third Age add 600 years
First-press edition of The Hobbit released in 1937. containing an autograph of the author himself written in the language of the elves, was sold at the Sotheby's auction in London (2015) for £ 137 thousand (185 thousand euros). The final price of the book almost 2 times exceeded the estimated value, thereby setting a new record.