In 2003, The Tolkien Society established an annual tradition, designating one day of the year for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien worldwide to celebrate their love of Tolkien’s writings by, well, reading them! March 25 was chosen for the celebration as it is the date in The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, when the ring of power was destroyed and the dark lord Sauron was defeated.
Each year the Society selects a theme for the day, with this year’s theme being Home and Hearth: the many ways of being a Hobbit. This opens up a wide array of things that could be read to explore the ‘inner Hobbit’ in all of us. You might join Bilbo in The Hobbit, as he opens his home to Gandalf and the dwarves, feeding them most of the goodies in his pantry! Another option would be to settle around the dinner table with Frodo, Merry, Sam and Pippin, as they eat the delicious mushrooms offered to them by Farmer Maggot during their journey through The Shire. What favorite Hobbity thing will you pull off of your bookshelves to read today?
Updated 11/3/17 – From time-to-time you, the fans, email TORn about events of interest to other fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. As a service to our readers, we decided to created this new feature: a listing of upcoming events to keep everyone apprised of where they can hook-up and commiserate with other fans, learn a thing or two, or just plain enjoy the fandom that we’ve all come to know and love. From Howard Shore concerts in Paris, to fan get-togethers in Kentucky and South Carolina, to exhibitions in Staffordshire, U.K., it’s all listed here! The list will be updated periodically as past events drop off and future events are added. If you know of an upcoming event, please let us know either in the comments section of this story, or by emailing email@example.com. – TORn, ‘Together in Tolkien’
In The Lord of The Rings, The Return of the King, March 25, 3019 marked the day the Ring of Power was destroyed and Sauron was defeated. In ‘modern day’ 2017, March 25 marks the day Tolkien fans around the world, in groups or individually, read from their favorite works by author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Tolkien Reading Day is a tradition stared in 2003 by the Tolkien Society. From their Tolkien Reading Day webpage: It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events.
Each year, the Society selects a theme for the day, and this year’s theme is Poetry and Song. This opens up an amazing number of possibilities for reading for today. One of the most delightful aspects of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings in particular, was how Tolkien interspersed poems and songs throughout the story. They added a depth of understanding of Tolkien’s characters and cultures that were unique to his works.
Who doesn’t feel Bilbo and Frodo’s sense of adventure when they read: “The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began”? No less is the thrill of reading “Arise now, arise, Riders of Théoden!”, or the amusement at Sam’s: “Troll sat alone on a seat of stone and munched and mumbled a bare old bone.”
Tolkien’s poems weren’t limited to his novels. If you haven’t read it, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil offers a collection of 16 poems not published elsewhere. In it, we learn that old Farmer Maggot and Tom Bombadil were acquainted, enjoy an alternate version of The Man in the Moon, and learn the haunting story of the traveler in The Sea Bell:
There still afloat waited a boat, in the tide lifting, its prow tossing. Weary I lay, as it bore me away, the waves climbing, the seas crossing
One of my favorites is The Mewlips:
through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed, you go to find the Mewlips – and the Mewlips feed.“
Makes me shiver every time!
So, indulge yourself today! Get one (or more) of those Tolkien books from your bookshelf, crack it open,, and spend a few minutes (or hours), reading! If you’d like to join other fans, check out the Tolkien Society links above for planned gatherings. Which poem or song is your favorite? Which makes you smile? Which makes you sad? Which is your all-time favorite? Let us know!
Shaun Gunner, Chairman of the Tolkien Society has let us know that they’re currently offering this must have addition to our Tolkien bookshelves for the wonderful price of just £10. So, if you’re looking for something extra special for the Tolkien fan in your life, or for yourself, grab yourself a copy of “Celebrating 50 years of The Lord of the Rings“.
If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.
Yesterday, March 25, was officially Tolkien Reading Day. Celebrated annually by the Tolkien Society since 2003, Reading Day is exactly what it sounds like: a day “to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages.” March 25th was chosen to commemorate the day in Middle-earth history of the destruction of the One Ring and the downfall of Sauron, but events are often held throughout the week surrounding the official date.
The theme for this year’s Reading Day is Friendship, chosen not only to commemorate how Frodo and Sam’s friendship triumphed in Mordor, but also to “celebrate the deep friendships that Tolkien developed in his own life and in his work.” By extension, a shared love of Tolkien’s work has inspired countless friendships, traversing continents and oceans. So share your love of Tolkien by joining a Reading Day event, or simply sharing your favorite passage with a friend!