The Lord of the Rings fans will remember that Frodo used to toast his Uncle Bilbo on his birthday every year. And on The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, you’re encouraged to have a birthday toast as part of JRR Tolkien Day on January 3. The Tolkien Society asks fans to honor the author’s birth, which was on January 3, 1892.
Now, if you have no idea who Frodo or Bilbo are, you are missing out on one of the world’s most popular sets of fiction books. Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, all of which were made into highly successful movies after his death.
Whether you loved the idea of all of the different races of people in the story working together, the idea of rabbit-like hobbits, or Orlando Bloom’s flowing blond elvish hair from the movies, Tolkien’s vision of Middle Earth has created millions of fans. Additionally, the world Tolkien created isn’t limited to the well-known books and movies, expanding into other books related to Middle Earth.
Hobbits are gentle creatures, and they enjoy their food and drink, which leads to the idea of having a toast on Tolkien’s birthday. If you want to celebrate JRR Tolkien Day in true hobbit fashion with a few extra meals in addition to the toast, Bilbo would certainly approve.
JRR Tolkien Day - History
"The Hobbit" is published
After the success of "The Hobbit," Tolkien's publisher asks him to write more about hobbits. Tolkien warns them he writes slow.
"The Lord of the Rings" Is Finished
Tolkien finishes "The Lord of the Rings"
"The Lord of the Rings" Is Published
The book is published in three volumes, initially in the U.K. and then in the U.S.
"The Lord of the Rings" is awarded the International Fantasy Award
JRR Tolkien Day Activities
1. Read the books or watch the movies … or both
The best way to celebrate JRR Tolkien Day is read one of the classic books. If you’ve never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, that’s a good place to start. Now, granted, you probably won’t be able to read all three books in one day. So go ahead and feel free watch one of the movies instead. Or if you have the entire day to celebrate, maybe tackle all three movies for The Lord of the Rings. (Also an excellent way to spend a Couch Potato Day!)
2. Eat a few extra meals
Hobbits have been known to enjoy a meal … or half a dozen meals. As the book says, hobbits would “enjoy six meals a day, if they could get them.” And the great thing about hobbits is that they will eat just about anything that tastes good, so your extra meals can involve just about anything you like, cakes, breads, and ale. It’s a good thing hobbits aren’t worried about counting carbs.
3. Work “my precious” into every conversation
Gollum may be one of the creepiest characters in all of Middle Earth – heck, maybe in all of literature – but his “my precious” saying is a classic. So spend the day calling everything in sight “my precious.” Your wedding ring, your spouse, your vehicle, the stapler on your desk, it doesn’t matter. Just work the saying in as much as possible on JRR Tolkien Day.
Why We Love JRR Tolkien Day
A. It’s a great reminder of how to overcome obstacles
The journeys and challenges described in Tolkien’s books are unforgettable for many reasons, but the idea of a group of people working together to complete a goal can be inspirational. Perhaps you aren’t doing anything quite as important as saving Middle Earth from evil, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some inspiration in your everyday life.
B. You can discover a new Tolkien book
Although Tolkien is best known for his Middle Earth books, he wrote several other books, as well as scholarly papers. And his son published a few more of Tolkien’s writings after his death. So if you’ve already read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it’s great to have options of reading another Tolkien book.
C. The little guy wins
The little guy winning is a common theme in literature. But there aren’t many littler guys in books than hobbits. And even though the hobbits in Tolkien’s books don’t really have any uncommon strength or special powers like wizards, they still manage to be the heroes of the books, making the right choices and saving Middle Earth from evil. And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating JRR Tolkien Day by celebrating the little guy and the underdog.