Middle Earth Merrymaking: A Baggins’ Birthday

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton… A notice appeared on the gate at Bag End: no admittance except on party business.

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When it comes to birthdays, Hobbits don’t take the planning or celebrating lightly.

(Especially, Bilbo and his nephew, Frodo.)

The birthday Hobbit often finds himself consumed with planning, while the other Hobbits wait expectantly for the big party:

pies

(Strawberry rhubarb mini pies)

. . .

Although each Hobbit is different, there are a few particular party rules that must be followed for every Hobbit birthday:

First and foremost, you must have invitations. Hobbits are a merry, close-knit group and that means inviting every Hobbit in town—well, unless you’re Bilbo:

Bilbo Baggins called it a party, but it was really a variety of entertainments rolled into one. Practically everybody living near was invited. A very few were overlooked by accident, but as they turned up all the same, that did not matter.

When you are inviting an entire group from Hobbiton or another neighboring town, you must have a large open space for feasts, dancing and merry-making:

The tents began to go up. There was a specially large pavilion, so big that the tree that grew in the field was right inside it, and stood proudly near one end, at the head of the chief table. Lanterns were hung on all its branches. More promising still (to the hobbits’ mind): an enormous open-air kitchen was erected in the north corner of the field.

And of course, it isn’t a Hobbit birthday without a feast.

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(Pesto-stuffed mushroom bites)

Hobbits prefer simple, hearty foods such as meats, vegetables, and fruits.

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(Carrot cake; Gf/vegan version)

The highlight of any Hobbit party is always the cake.

Simply put, when it comes to Hobbits, the more food, the better.

When every guest had been welcomed and was finally inside the gate, there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink. There were three official meals: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper).

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Drinking, dancing, feasting, laughing–the perfect Hobbit party.

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Don’t forget candles and lights for when the sun goes down.

lights

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(Natural bug repellent luminaries)

Hobbit parties usually last well into the night.

flowers

Before the Hobbits make their way home (hiccuping as they go), you must give them a parting gift:

Every one of the various parting gifts had labels, written out personally by Bilbo, and several had some point, or some joke. But, of course, most of the things were given where they would be wanted and welcome.

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If you, like Bilbo and Frodo, plan a full day of fun and feasting, your party will surely be the talk of the town for many elevenses to come.

To our two favorite Hobbits, Frodo and Bilbo,

a very merry birthday.

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Thanks for reading!

Remember: adventure first, breakfast second

-Marissa and Victoria

Β Little Hobbit models: Cecily and Blaise (Marissa’s niece and nephew)
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