How to throw a Hobbit Day Celebration fit for the Shire itself
In case you forgot, Hobbit Day is September 22nd.
This fastly approaching holiday is a celebration of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthdays, the two hero hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth universe.
Back in the day when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with all things Middle Earth and Lord of the Rings. I attempted to learn Sindarin (one of Tolkien’s Elvish languages), I was heavily involved in many online LOTR fan clubs, and I was a collector of any and all things Lord of the Rings from plushies to movie extended editions. When the movies were re-released in theaters, I made sure to buy tickets for my whole family to attend each showing.
In this love of Lord of the Rings, I also made it a point to celebrate Hobbit Day with a bountiful celebration fit for the Shire itself.
My Hobbit Day celebrations were usually an all-day affair where I would invite extended family to partake in the festivities. I would bake lots of Middle Earth-inspired treats, make delicious homemade apple cider, and decorate my kitchen and backyard with Hobbit and Shire influenced decorations. There was music, dancing, and lots of laughter!
My family still sometimes talks about our past Hobbit Day celebrations.
While there are many different ways to celebrate Hobbit Day such as going barefoot in honor of the hobbits of the Shire, or reading or watching The Hobbit to immerse yourself in the tales of courageous hobbits, here is some advice on how to throw a bountiful Hobbit Day celebration fit for the Shire itself!
First things first, THE FOOD!
Hobbits are notorious snackers, eaters, diners, and food-loving creatures.
I like to make Hobbit Day an all day celebration so I have plenty of reason to cook and bake as much food as possible. This also helps people feel like hobbits when they’re eating all the different meals hobbits eat during the day.
In the books, hobbits only ate six meals, but in the LOTR movies, hobbits like to eat seven meals a day. As Peregrin Took informed us, this includes breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.
While this may seem like a tall order, many of these meal times are only about 2 or 3 hours apart from each other so you won’t need to make full course meals each time you cook (unless of course you think you can handle that much food in one day!)
Feel free to bake and make some of the foods ahead of time and set them out for friends and family to nibble on throughout the day.
I like to make simple, light dishes in the morning and early afternoon in order to save room for the more dense and hearty offerings in the evening.
In the morning
For the morning meals including breakfast, second breakfast, and elevenses, these dishes could be eggs or omelettes with sides of ham, toast with fresh jam, scones, muffins, or delicious fruits and fresh cheeses.
Hobbit Day is a perfect time to buy from local artisans for fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, honies, and jams. In the days leading up to Hobbit Day, be sure to shop for fresh goods that will make your party all the more realistic and unique!
In the afternoon
For the early afternoon foods, I like to make soups (French onion is a light yet delicious and aromatic dish that I love!) and offer fresh bread and fresh butter for the side. Soup is so easy to make, and the bonus of making soup is the longer it sits, the better it tastes! Make your soups the day before to really have a delicious meal!
You could also offer lembas bread with your soup. I love making lembas bread and wrapping it in leaf-decorated paper or crinkled brown kraft paper to really give it the appearance of Middle Earthen lembas.
For afternoon tea which is enjoyed around 3pm or 4pm, you will absolutely need a tea or coffee to serve along with a sweet treat to perk everyone up! English black tea, Earl Grey, and Chamomile are fantastic offerings for tea-lovers, while I recommend serving decaf coffee for those who prefer the dark-roasted bean water.
Along with teas, think of serving some sweet treats such as mini fresh fruit tarts, scrumptious cookies, pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato pie, cobbler, or banana or zucchini bread. These treats should be delicious but light so you don’t ruin your appetite for dinner!
In the evening
Finally, dinner! Dinner in the Shire, like in many parts of the world, is the largest meal of the day!
This means that you should go all out for your dinner! Think of serving a wide selection of fresh and roasted vegetables, lots of potatoes, savory cheeses and breads, gravies, and delicious meats (or vegan meats) as your centerpiece! This is also the time to break out the apple cider and the mead and let people drink and be merry!
I like to set all the food out on a big table and let people serve themselves instead of serving people individual plates.
I find it fits more with the hobbit aesthetic of community and togetherness when people can come together to serve themselves and enjoy the conversation that accompanies mingling around a dinner table!
People usually eat their fill at dinner and then return to pick at all the food served throughout the rest of the night if they get peckish so there isn’t much need for supper, but just in case, I like to set out desserts (pie, cakes) and fresh vegetables and dips to satiate any hobbit-sized appetites.
While the individual recipes I use for my meals and desserts differ from year to year, I think there are some important themes to follow with preparing food for Hobbit Day.
Hobbit food ideas
Think seasonal (gourds, squashes, corns, beans, etc.), think local (honey, jam, and drinks), and think fresh (cheeses, breads, and meats)!
Hobbits didn’t eat processed foods and while they were fond of sweets, they made it all by hand. Keep this in mind when prepping your food lists! Recruit family or friends to help prep some of the food so you’re not the only cook in the kitchen come September 22nd!
Second, SET THE ATMOSPHERE!
My favorite thing about celebrating Hobbit Day is turning my home and backyard into a Shire-inspired dwelling that sets the tone for the festivities!
Wherever you plan to have your Hobbit Day party, think of setting up twinkle lights around your space, bringing out the potpourri to give the essence of what it would be to walk through the Shire on a crisp fall evening, and of course, have a nonstop playlist of lighthearted and fun music.
You’re in control of how you want your party to look and sound, but I love to play The Corrs-inspired jams and have my home smelling like fresh brewed apple cider.
My tips include think candles, think fairy lights, think fall foliage! Think anything that says fall and hobbits, that says Middle Earth and Shire!
If you have a backyard, think of bringing your decor outside! I like to bring the Hobbit party outside when it starts getting cooler and the twinkle lights really stand out! I have little hay bales that I bring out and cover with blankets and set up in a round so conversation is bound to happen! I also like to leave room for people to dance and let themselves feel free and happy during the course of the evening!
I think the most important piece of advice I can give is to keep it light and keep it fun! The winter cold is right around the corner for many of us so have this be your ultimate fall celebration filled with bright and beautiful colors, sights, and smells!
Hobbits are notorious party-throwers and party-goers.
There’s always an abundance of entertainment and activities in the Shire, so try to seek some inspiration from the hobbits. Revisit the movies or books if you’re looking for specific Middle Earth fun.
If you’re planning on making Hobbit Day an all-day affair, think of including the movies into your entertainment plans. You could possibly watch all of or one or two of your favorite Middle Earth movies, or have all of the movies constantly playing in the background so people can dip in and out of the movie at their leisure.
I find most people tend to congregate when a movie is playing which is nice, especially when you have food out and people are able to mill about and converse with one another.
You could also think of playing Lord of the Rings or Tolkien trivia to pass the time. I like any game that encourages teamwork or quick-wittedness.
You could also think of finding a LOTR or Hobbit board game or two to really get people in the spirit! If you can’t get your hands on a board game, you could also bring out the card games since I’m sure hobbits had some kind of variation of card games in their world.
Anything that brings people together is something that I’m sure hobbits would love! Focus on bringing people out and keeping them together throughout the duration of your celebration!
Other entertainment ideas could include fall-themed crafting sessions like painting or carving gourds or mini pumpkins or baking and decorating treats like caramel apples.
If you have kids at your hobbit party, they’d probably enjoy the crafting portion of Hobbit Day more so than adults, but just make sure to keep the positive energy flowing with whatever you choose to do!
While your Hobbit Day may look different from mine and with the current state of the world, may even include less people than it would in years past, it’s important to find reasons to celebrate, even if it happens to be the birthday of fictional characters!
Whether your Hobbit Day consists of merely taking your shoes off and walking around in the grass barefoot, or having a pint of your favorite brew raised in the names of the Baggins, take some time to appreciate the day!
Whatever you do, go forward in the spirit of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins and make September 22nd a day to remember!