Global events celebrate The Hobbit's 75th anniversary
21st September 2012 - 4:54pm
Events are taking place across the world this weekend to celebrate the 75th anniversary of J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved tale The Hobbit.
From England, where the author was born and lived, to New Zealand, where the big screen adaptations of The Hobbit are currently being filmed, fans of Tolkien's work are hosting Middle-Earth-themed celebrations to recognise the impact that the novel has had on both the literary world and society in general.
The Hobbit was first published on September 21st 1937 and more than 100 million copies have been sold since then, inspiring fantasy writers around the world, including Tolkien himself, who was so happy with the reaction to the novel he wrote three direct sequels in the form of The Lord of the Rings series.
To mark the occasion, Hobbit-themed parties, screenings of The Lord of the Rings films and special literary events are being held across the globe.
Many of these will tie in with Hobbit Day, a worldwide event that has taken place on September 22nd (Bilbo's birthday) each year since 1978 and sees fans of Tolkien's work dress up as residents of the Shire and other characters from the novel.
To celebrate The Hobbit's 75th anniversary, many UK schools have encouraged pupils to dress up as Bilbo Baggins, while a nationwide project among primary schools has seen students studying the book during term time
The American Tolkien Society, which first proclaimed Hobbit Day 34 years ago, said this year's celebrations will include feasts, games, fancy dress parties and firework displays from Wellington to Washington.
'Hobbit Day is a virtually ideal holiday, incorporating attractive elements of several others: the masquerade fun of Halloween, the feast of Thanksgiving, the exchange of greeting cards and gifts associated with Christmas and birthdays,' the society explained.