Today is September 22, which J.R.R. Tolkien devotees know as Hobbit Day, commemorating the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fame, who were born on this day, respectively, in the year of 2890 and 2968 in the Third Age. Houghton Mifflin released its first edition of The Hobbit in 1938, and this year HMH is going the distance to help fans participate in this annual fete.
A digital event kit provides ideas for hosting viewing parties of films based on Tolkien classics, scavenger hunts, trivia challenges, and other activities—as well as recipes for hobbit-friendly foods (it’s important to remember that Bilbo and Frodo and their kind not only love breakfast, but also second breakfast). The site also connects visitors to The Hobbit guides for readers, educators, and book clubs. And fans can use #HobbitDay on social media to find and participate in birthday parties around the world.
According to Matt Schweitzer, senior v-p of marketing at HMH Books & Media, The Hobbit is a novel well deserving of celebration. “Few books have invited generations of children and adult readers to embark on an epic, fantasy adventure as imaginative and original as The Hobbit. We at HMH continue to find ways to introduce new readers to Tolkien while engaging longtime fans and superfans. Hobbit Day has been celebrated by fans of Tolkien for over 40 years, and we want to create a moment in bookstores and libraries, online, and on social media for readers to escape to Middle-earth and come together in celebration of this beloved book. As I sit down to enjoy second breakfast with a reading of my personal copy of The Hobbit, I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to Bilbo and Frodo!”