25th March is “Tolkien Reading Day”, this event launched last year is aimed at encouraging the use of Tolkien’s works in education, by getting schoolteachers and library staff to participate in reading Tolkien to their classes and in their libraries. Hence the circulation of this release to the media, educational press and county libraries. The popularity of Tolkien’s works was illustrated by a ‘clean sweep’ at the Oscars for Peter Jackson’s Return of the King as it gained 11 out of 11 nominations. Tolkien’s works encompass many themes, and can be used to illustrate or provide assessment subjects for study areas in current school curricula. 25th March has a significance to Tolkien’s readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the ‘War of the Ring’ in “The Lord of the Rings”. For children and adults reading together is fun, and stimulates good conversation.

You don’t have to have read much of Tolkien’s work, all you need is to enjoy it.

Libraries or schools wishing to hold an event are advised to contact the Society for free posters, bookmarks and help with publicising their event. This year also sees some related events:

“TOLKIEN’S FIFTY YEARS” 22nd – 28th March

To mark the beginning of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the publication of The Lord of the Rings, the Italian Tolkien Society and The Tolkien Society are promoting an international event Tolkien’s Fifty Years. This will take place in Brussels at the European Parliament and the Italian Cultural Institute. The event is a collaboration between 16 Tolkien societies, the European Parliament, the Presidency of the Italian Cabinet of Ministers, the Italian Ministries of Communication and of Culture, the New Zealand Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of New Zealand in Italy, Regione Lazio, the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels, New Zealand Post, the International Film Festival of Flanders/Gand, Games Workshop-Italy, RAI SAT for Young People, Medusa Film and the publishing house Bompiani. The event will include a conference, readings from The Lord of the Rings, two concerts, a film marathon and the European premiere of the Canadian documentary The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien-themed evening entertainments, an international exhibition of works of art inspired by The Lord of the Rings; an exhibitions of copies of the book in various languages such as English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Turkish, Bulgarian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Norwegian, Dutch and Portuguese, sculptures and the complete series of stamps produced by New Zealand Post on the occasion of the release of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. All this is Free of Charge details can be found on the event’s official website www.tolkien50years.com.

New York Tolkien Society’s “Ringbearers’ Day”

Aimed at older readers and so at the weekend, this event takes place on Saturday March 27th at Marymount Manhattan College. Although related to Tolkien Reading Day, Ringbearer’s Day is a celebration of the books Master metal smiths Joe Piela and Jenna Brocious of The Lonely Mountain Forge will be there, plus favorite readings, scholarly discussions, Elvish calligraphy lessons cooking, costume and trivia contests. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and admission is FREE for Heren Istarion members and Marymount students and faculty. To become a member, you can sign up at the door. The first 50 people who purchase tickets, or become members at the door will receive a free collectible “Gollum” poster, courtesy of New Line Cinema.

Details of Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On, the conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Lord of the Rings in its entirety can be found at www.tolkiensociety.org/2005