September 22nd is Hobbit Day!
What is a hobbit? I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it).
The above is taken from the first chapter of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Oh, how I love hobbits! Gandalf said in the first book of The Lord of the Rings, “Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.”
Hobbit Day is on September 22nd because that is Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday. At the beginning of The Lord of the Rings Frodo celebrates his 33rd, which is a “coming of age” for hobbits, and Bilbo celebrates his 111th, a special number in itself.
The most famous hobbits, of course, include Bilbo Baggins, his nephew Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took. But let’s not forget other hobbits who contributed to the story.
The Gaffer was Sam’s father. Everyone knew him simply as the Gaffer, though his real name was Hamfast. He first was the gardener at Bag-End before passing the job down to Sam. The Gaffer told Sam about a Black Rider, so then Same was able to tell the rest of the party traveling to Crickhollow.
Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger played a big role in ensuring Frodo began his journey, but sadly, his part was omitted from the films. He hepled Frodo “move” to Crickhollow and was involved in Merry and Pippin’s plot. He stayed back to play Frodo for a while when the four hobbits left. When Black Riders came, Fatty aroused other Hobbits nearby and they blew the Horn-call of Buckland, causing the Black Riders to leave.
Lobelia Sackville-Baggins was Bilbo’s cousin. They were never on agreeable terms. She nearly bought Bag-End when Bilbo was presumed dead after a year of his leaving unexpectedly to be the fourteenth member of Thorin and Company. Lobelia was always bitter, even more so after Bilbo came back alive. Frodo ended up selling Bag-End to her when he left for his journey to Rivendell, to her happiness.
There are many more hobbits that I don’t have the time to write about. Tell me about the ones I missed in the comments!
I hope you have a splendid day being bare foot, eating six meals, and appreciating your ancestors as hobbits do! Happy Hobbit Day!