This week marks Tolkien Week! It began yesterday and continues through Saturday.
The custom started in 1978. The week honors J.R.R. Tolkien and his son and editor, Christopher J.R. Tolkien, and celebrates the Middle-earth cycle: The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King), Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.
The most popular method of observing Tolkien Week is the library, bookstore, or school display. Most libraries have displays on bulletin boards or in cases.
The same is certainly true of schools. Tolkien Week falls during the "Back to School" season and can create a bright new interest for students in literature classes and libraries. A number of schools and libraries host seminars and art shows during the week. Those with the facilities and budget sometimes arrange for a showing of one or more of the motion pictures based on the works. A few have even presented marathon showings of the Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
Tolkien Week displays and seminars have been held in places ranging from distinguished universities to libraries located in prisons, mental institutions, and army bases. Activities which include presentation of research papers or other materials suitable for publication are often presented in the Minas Tirith Evening-Star: Journal of the American Tolkien Society.
On Thursday, September 22nd be sure to observe Hobbit Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in Tolkien’s popular set of books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In those books, both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on the date September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning. The Fellowship of the Ring opened with a celebration of Bilbo's birthday. It was a large party with food, fireworks, dancing and much merriment. To properly observe Hobbit Day, be sure to have a grand feast, and you must go barefoot, in honor of the hobbits, who seldom wore shoes.
So, slip out of your shoes and enjoy!