September 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!

Today and tomorrow both mark very important days in Middle-earth history.  On this day, September 21, The Hobbit was first published in 1937, 77 years ago!  Tomorrow, September 22, is the day of Bilbo and Frodo's birthday.  (Actually, because of the discrepancies between our Gregorian calendar and the Hobbit calendar Bilbo's birthday should fall between the 12th and 14th of the month.)


Happy Birthday Bilbo & Frodo Baggins!




For decades Middle-earth fans have celebrated this important occasion (called "Hobbit Day") with parties, games, food, reading sessions, and movie marathons.  In case your schedule is packed tomorrow (like mine) and you don't have time to sit down and read your favorite chapter don't worry!  Hobbit Day is just the first day of Tolkien Week!  Fans across the globe will be celebrating the wonderful works of J.R.R. Tolkien all week long.  If you'd like to celebrate too but need a few ideas to get started we've listed a few of our own favorite activities/snacks below.



Food Ideas

Hobbit Meal
For this meal eat the types of food eaten by hobbits which could include seed cake, potatoes (preferably mashed), other steamed vegetables (e.g. carrots or squash), and a main dish of chicken (baked would be fine).  Milk, water, or tea is suggested for the drink.  Be sure to have some cheeses and crackers or toast with raspberry jam.  An apple, blueberry, or pumpkin pie for dessert is also highly recommended.


Dwarf Meal

For this meal feast on anything meat, chicken, turkey, beef, pig, etc.  Different types of meat are to be eaten for the appetizer, sides, and main course.  If you're feeling a bit too carnivorous feel free to add on some chips, crackers, or even a light salad.


Elf Meal

Unlike the dwarvish meal, a healthier selection is recommended which could include salad(s), fruits, yogurt, and a small amount of meat.  Lembas bread should be eaten with this meal as well.  Fruit juice or water is the suggested beverage.  A “fancier” dessert is also recommended which could include cheesecake, truffles, or ice cream sundaes.

Gollum Meal

The main course for this meal includes a type of freshwater fish (cooked, not raw).  Be creative and add make some sides or steal a few favorite items from the other meals.  For dessert we suggest an Oreo crumb covered chocolate mousse with gummy worms.


Miscellaneous Items

Bag End Cupcakes or Cookies (These are vanilla cupcakes or sugar cookies with Bilbo’s door designed with frosting.  Don't forget the "G" rune!)

Afternoon Tea (enjoy a nice cup of tea whilst munching on a few sweets)


 Games

v LEGO Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit Video Game

v Play the LEGO Hobbit board game

v Shelob’s Lair Maze In a room or hallway attach string from one wall to the other and have people try to make their way through in the dark with only a flashlight.  To make it even more fun have someone be Shelob and try to chase the other players.

v Middle-earth quiz People can sign up to be on a game-show type panel where they will be quizzed about Middle-earth.  Have the most well-versed person in your family/group make questions or read them from a trivia game.  Be sure to have prizes!  Or you could make it less formal and sit around the table and ask each other questions.

v Capture the Ring This is like capture the flag, but with a twist.  ORganize into three themes: Mordor, Isengard, and Free Peoples, each with a camp.  In the Mordor Camp there will be a bucket to serve as the Crack of Doom.  All players start at their home base.  A ring will be hidden somewhere near the middle of the field.  At the sound of the whistle players from Mordor and Isengard will try to find the Ring and get it back to their base.  The Free Peoples will be given a hint beforehand as to where the ring is.  Their objective is to get the Ring in the Crack of Doom.  Each player wears two flag-football flags on his/her waist.  If one of a players flag's is pulled he/she is killed and has to return to camp and stay there for 1 minute.  If the person who was killed was carrying the Ring It is dropped and then becomes “fair game”. (This game can be played without the Free People’s team.) This game would work better with a large group of people.


Activities

v  Daily Tolkien Reading Sessions (Read parts of any Tolkien books or translations such as The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Hurin, he Father Christmas Letters, Farmer Giles of Ham, Roverandom, Beowulf,  etc.)

v  Movie Marathon (Watch all the Middle-earth movies over the course of the week.  These aren't necessarily limited to Sir Peter Jackson’s interpretations either.)

v Play With LEGO LotR/Hobbit Sets

v  Listen to (or even play if you're musically gifted) the soundtracks written by Howard Shore

v  Watch LotR/Hobbit bonus features (included with the films)

v  Draw/paint scenes or characters from Middle-earth

v  Research about places or peoples that influenced Middle-earth (Ideas include reading or watching a documentary about the Anglo-Saxon or Norse people.  Reading about Tolkien’s life could also qualify)

v  Write Research Papers or Essays (They would of course have to be about something from Middle-earth or Tolkien’s life.)

v  Write stories based on un-explored characters and/or places from Middle-earth (The stories should be consistent with Tolkien’s published work)


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