Happy Hobbit Day! (Tolkien Tuesday)

Happy Hobbit Day! (Tolkien Tuesday)

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

It’s Tolkien Tuesday, the day we talk about J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and any exciting real-life happenings in the world of Middle-earth and by an incredible stroke of luck, THIS Tolkien Tuesday falls on International Hobbit Day!

Hobbit Day is when we celebrate and recognize the extended Middle-earth universe, and the reason it’s today is that September 22nd is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Well, technically that’s open for debate. See, the Shire calendar was a bit different from our calendar. Unlike us, the Hobbits had 12 months of 30 days…period.

They had an extra five days crammed in to round their calendar out into 365 days. This gets a little bit complicated, but basically three of those days happen in between June and July for the Summer Solstice, which the Hobbits called Mid-year, and two of them come in between December and January to celebrate the Winter Solstice, which the Hobbits called Yule.

The historians among you will no doubt have noticed that this is heavily based on the Anglo-Saxon calendar that was in use in England for a long, long time before they adopted the Roman calendar and used the Roman names of the months.

Tolkien was obviously an English historian as well as a linguist. Much of the lore of Middle-earth is directly lifted from England’s history or mythology. The language spoken by the Riders of Rohan is, essentially, Old English.

And because Tolkien established many close links between the culture and history of the Shire and of Rohan, the names of the Shire months are Tolkien’s take on what English would actually be using now if we’d never adopted the Roman system instead.

Today’s date of 22nd September would be, by Shire reckoning, the first day of the month of Winterfilth.

Yeah, I’m fine with sticking with the 22nd of September.

A couple of interesting notes about Hobbit Day. Although Frodo and Bilbo were born on the same day, they were obviously born many, many years apart. Bilbo was 78 years older than Frodo, and in the first scene of Lord of the Rings, was turning 111 when Frodo was only turning 33.

111 sounds really old, but not so much for Hobbits. Certainly not all of them lived to such a ripe old age, but it wasn’t unheard of, either. And Bilbo aged even more slowly because of the Ring, though he didn’t realize it.

The field where the party took place was forever known as “the Party Field,” and all sorts of festivities and celebrations took place there, but interestingly, the Hobbits never actually celebrated Hobbit Day.

Yes, even though the rest of Middle-Earth celebrated the birthdays of the two Hobbits who saved them all, life in the Shire just carried on as normal, as it has a tendency to do.

The closest the Hobbits ever came to recognizing the War of the Ring was a holiday on April 6th in honor of the day the Ring was destroyed—except they got the day wrong, because it was actually destroyed on March 25th.

But, you know, March is usually still winter in the Shire, and April is just a better time for partying, and, hey…they’re Hobbits, they do what they want.

Anyway, Happy Hobbit Day to all of you, my dearest Rebels and Tolkien friends. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings quite literally changed my life, both in the way the books shaped my mind as a teenager, and the way the films directed the course of my career as an adult.

And that reminds me of one of my favorite Tolkien quotes of all time, recalled by Frodo just after the start of his adventure.

“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

My road has swept me along in many crazy, wonderful directions, and you guys are some of my favorite traveling companions, whether you’ve been with me since I left my doorstep, or just the last few miles.

Thanks for watching, Rebels, and an extra-special shoutout to my supporters on Patreon, who make my YouTube channel possible, especially my sponsors. If you want to be one of those incredibly awesome people, check out the Patreon link in the description below, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.

Extra fun fact! Hobbit Day is also the birthday of Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, Billie Piper from Doctor Who, Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black, and YouTube star Mamrie Hart. What does that have to do with anything?

They’re all Hobbits. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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