25 Mar 2011

Tolkien Reading Day 2011 Is All About Trees

Today is Tolkien Reading Day so no excuses, grab your favourite Tolkien's book and read. 'Tolkien Reading Day' is a good way to introduce children or young readers to the Tolkien's Legendarium. I was only nine, maybe ten when I first came across a huge book in the house called 'The Lord of the Rings' and the rest is history. Reading Tolkien is not always easy, he uses a lot of words, names, references , but for all its complexity, his style is truly unique and its nice to have one special day dedicated to Tolkien readings and to share thoughts and opinions on his work with others. Tolkien Reading Day is an annual event that The Tolkien Society started in 2003 to encourage people to read works of J.R.R.Tolkien and this day was chosen in celebration of the fall of Sauron.

This year's theme is : Tolkien's Trees which is allied with the "International Year of Forests" and encourages you to enjoy exploring the dark confines of Tolkien's many forests as well as focussing on individual trees. Enter Mirkwood in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, walk into the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire, and the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, or meet the Ents of Fangorn. Or why not read about and discuss the importance of trees and their meanings in “Leaf By Niggle”, or the 'Two Trees' beloved of the Elves in The Silmarillion, where there are more great forests and woods to discover, and if reading time is short, then the malice of Old Man Willow, or the symbolism of White Tree of Gondor offer plenty to think about and discuss.

The 25th of March is a very important day in Middle-earth. On this day the One Ring of Power is destroyed and the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever. Of all days, Tolkien chooses March 25 which is a very significant date also in the Catholic calender . It is , of course, the Feast of the Annunciation, the celebration of the moment when God himself became incarnate as man. In ancient Anglo-Saxon belief, and in European popular tradition March 25 is also the date of the Crucifixion. A very important day indeed and not one chosen at random by Tolkien. Middle-earth finally free from the oppression of Sauron - light replace shadows as hope replace doubts. Today (like any other day) is a good day to read, Happy Tolkien Reading Day Hobbits :)