Hobbit Day is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien’s popular set of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
In the books both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning.)
Tolkien Week is the week containing Hobbit Day.
The American Tolkien Society first proclaimed Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week in 1978, and defines them as this: “Tolkien Week is observed as the calendar week containing September 22, which is always observed as Hobbit Day”, but acknowledges that Hobbit Day pre-dates their designation.
Due to the discrepancies between the Shire Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar there is some debate for when to celebrate Hobbit Day. Many celebrate on September 22 of the Gregorian Calendar but other deep students of Tolkien, however, say that the dates mentioned in the narrative refer to the Shire Calendar, which has significant divergences from the Gregorian.
More accurately, Tolkien said that the Shire Calendar is in advance by some 10 days (depending on the month) of the Gregorian Calendar. According to calculations, a suggested corresponding date is September 14.
The Fellowship of the Ring opened with a celebration of Bilbo’s birthday. It was a large party with food, fireworks, dancing and much merriment.
In real world some Tolkien fans celebrate with having parties and feasts emulating the hobbit’s parties. Others celebrate by simply going barefooted in honour of the hobbits, who rarely wear shoes.
Many schools and libraries use this as an opportunity to garner interest in Tolkien’s work by putting up displays and hosting events.