Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year.
It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events.
Why 25 March?
The 25th of March is the date of the downfall of the Lord of the Rings (Sauron) and the fall of Barad-dûr. It’s as simple as that!
As the 25th is obviously a fixed date, we suggest that local events could be held on the weekend prior or after to then if that’s more convenient.
Tolkien Reading Day began following an enquiry from Sean Kirst, a columnist of the The Post-Standard (a paper local to Syracuse, New York), in January 2002:
My grandparents were fishing folk from Buckie in the north of Scotland, carriers of the old stories and legends, and the trilogy has filled a certain hole in my life. I have many friends here in New York who were equally moved by the book, reignited by the film, and we all wondered: is there any day devoted informally to readings from the trilogy, in the way that “Bloomsday” is devoted to Joyce?
The committee liked the idea so much that they choose 25 March 2003 to be the first “Tolkien Reading Day”, and the rest, as they say, is history!
To support schools, museums and libraries in running their Reading Day events, the Tolkien Society provides a free education resource pack. This was first produced in 2021 in collaboration with the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, University of Glasgow and we continue to use the same format. Although the resources are created for the Reading Day, they can be used by schools, museums and libraries at any other time of the year.