3 Jan 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN ! Celebrating Tolkien's 119th Birthday

3 January 1892 - Bloemfontein (South Africa) Arthur and Mabel Tolkien welcome to the world their first son, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien in the lodgings above the bank in Maitland Street where Arthur works as a manager. In the treeless, dusty and dry plains on Africa, a tiny 'hobbit' is born on the third day of 1892. When his father died on 15 February 1896, Tolkien's mother, Mabel, took the family back to Britain to settle in the rural hamlet of Sarehole.

Tolkien claimed to have few memories of South Africa, except for a vivid and scary encounter with a large spider - an experience he will never forget and that was put to good use later on in his writing about Middle-earth. Throughout his long academic life as a scholar, Professor Tolkien had made valuable contributions to his profession and had given new meanings to medieval literature. He is however best remembered today as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, adventures that takes place in the fantasy world of Middle-earth, which he profoundly created and filled it with enchanting legends, peoples and cultures, languages and histories. The magnitude of his successful achievement as a sub-creator thus earned him the title, The Master of Fantasy.

To celebrate on this day each year Tolkien fans around the world are invited by the Tolkien Society to raise a glass and toast the birthday of our much loved author at 21:00 (9 pm) your local time. To make the Birthday Toast, you stand, raise a glass of your choice of drink (not necessarily alcoholic), and say the words : 'TheProfessor'  and then enjoy your drink, just like a true hobbit would do.