Happy Hobbit Day and welcome to the first day of Feast Week! This particular day holds great meaning to all Tolkien fans as it is both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthday. It is also the day Frodo set out towards Rivendell with The One Ring. So you probably know that much but what exactly is Feast Week? This fantastically yummy way to celebrate Tolkien’s life and work was begun in 1978 by Anna Maria Polidori, an Italian member of the UK Tolkien Society. Starting every year on September 22, participants follow the first 8 days of Frodo’s journey to Rivendell by cooking meals with the same ingredients (and sometimes, atmosphere) as he did or experienced.
“When they had sung many songs, and talked of many things they had done together, they toasted Bilbo’s birthday, and they drank his health and Frodo’s together according to Frodo’s custom. Then they went out for a sniff of air, and glimpse of the stars, and then they went to bed.”
– The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3: Three is Company
Upon the first day of Feast Week, we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday with a glass of wine and a toast. Not much else is required besides a short trip outside for some fresh air and perhaps a look at the stars (or clouds).
Since “other celebrations at whim” are strongly encouraged on this day, I decided to start with a trip to a local pumpkin patch. Thankfully the weather cooperated and I was granted with a clear, sunny day. After a short hay ride out to the field, I strolled through the long rows of pumpkins until I found “the one.” With my prize secured, I snapped a quick picture of the Shire-like view in front of me. If you look closely you can see the seemingly endless cornfield beyond the pumpkin patch. As I passed it on my way back it was not very difficult to imagine Merry and Pippin crashing out, arms full of Farmer Maggot’s crop.
As I am not the world’s greatest cook, I did not attempt a fancy meal like the ones you will read about later this week from my fellow Middle-earth News staff members. However, I am an avid collector of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings LEGO sets. So I’ve called together a meeting of all my miniature Middle-earth friends to help celebrate Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday.