JRR Tolkien J. R. R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State in South Africa to English parents. If he’d lived, today he would be 121 years old — almost as many years as The Old Took!

To celebrate this event, The Tolkien Society invites Tolkien fans around the world each year to raise a glass and toast the birthday of our much-loved author. When? Today, January 3 at 21:00 hours (9pm) in your local timezone.

The toast is “The Professor”.

The Tolkien Society provides some helpful guides for those unfamiliar with British toast-drinking ceremonies:

To make the Birthday Toast, you stand, raise a glass of your choice of drink (not necessarily alcoholic), and say the words ‘The Professor’ before taking a sip (or swig, if that’s more appropriate for your drink). Sit and enjoy the rest of your drink.

You may also enjoy this brief article with 10 quotes from the man himself for his birthday. I think the first one is rather grand.

“If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.”

UPDATE: If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, the Tolkien Forever group is hosting their annual event (and one of our favorites) THE TOLKIEN TOAST at our traditional British pub The Cat & Fiddle at 6530 Sunset Blvd., L.A. California 90028.

Join us for our special Tolkien toast and celebrate the Birthday of the Man who started it all! We have much to celebrate this year. Costumes or Costumes-lite are encouraged, or just come as you are. Let us revel in our re-newed fellowship!

The Gathering starts at 7:00PM Pacific time for those who want to have dinner as well. The actual toast will be at 9:00PM. The restaurant website is www.thecatandfiddle.com and we hope to see you there!