It’s Golden Nerd Weekend. What is that? It’s the confluence of two High Holidays in Nerddom on the same weekend. Because the holidays fall 3 days apart, they aren’t actually ON the same weekend, but rather bookend the same weekend. As if the weekend were being wrapped in a nerd-love embrace. The two holidays of which I speak are Talk Like a Pirate Day and Hobbit Day.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello,” but with “Ahoy, me hearty!” The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.
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 22nd, but in different years. Hobbit Day is the day that many Tolkien fans choose to start their yearly read of The Lord of the Rings, since the The Fellowship of the Ring opened with a celebration of Bilbo’s birthday. Bilbo’s birthday party was a large party with food, fireworks, dancing and much merriment. Some Tolkien fans celebrate Hobbit Day with hobbit-style parties. Others celebrate by simply going barefooted in honor of the hobbits, who rarely wear shoes.
For me, this holiday weekend is made even more glorious by the performance of The Lord of the Rings Symphony by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Of course, that does impede me in my celebrations of Talk Like A Pirate Day, since I have been waiting for it to fall on a Friday so I could have a Pirate Party. Alas, maybe next time. But attending the LOTR Symphony so close to Hobbit Day is a big treat, so I’ll gladly let TLAPD take a back seat this year. If I could only get to KC for the RenFaire on Sunday, my cup of nerdiness just might overflow. But then, I suppress my nerdy tendencies most days of the year, so having a few days during which I can revel in my nerdiness is a fair trade, right?