It may be Labor Day in the United States, but for the internet today is the day to celebrate Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by going #BackToHogwarts.
Soon after 11 AM EDT today, #BackToHogwarts began trending on Twitter as spotted by the International Business Times. Legions of fans began reminiscing about their childhood memories of the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling, and their blockbuster movie adaptations starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Many posts revolved around the fantasy of being whisked away by the Hogwarts Express to the magical school run by Dumbledore.
But why today? September 1 has a special meaning to the Harry Potter franchise both in our world and in the fictional world, allowing the day to be a natural for people who want to go #BackToHogwarts. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first introduced children and their parents in the United Kingdom to a world where anyone might secretly be a wizard or witch and be taken away to a magical school of adventure and mystery.
Rowling's first book in the series was re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the US market, where it was released on September 1, 1998. It quickly became an international phenomenon. The date also holds special significance in the story. If students are not at King's Cross Station Platform 9 3/4 in London at exactly September 1, 11:00 AM to catch the Hogwarts Express, they aren't going to Hogwarts.
#BackToHogwarts celebrations have not been confined to Twitter. Hypable.com has published online a series of articles revisiting the original book and the first movie, and even writing a love letter to Hogwarts. And what faux-holiday is complete without a list? Buzzfeed has #BackToHogwarts covered with 13 Awkward Moments Only Harry Potter Fans Will Understand.
But fear not, defenders of Labor Day. The Harry Potter books could be the perfect way to explain the importance of Labor Day to children, according to the Washington Post. Over the course of the seven books, the plight of house elves becomes more prominent. Their indentured servitude mirrors poor worker conditions and the lack of workers rights in America before the labor movement of the first half of the 1900s. Mirroring the power of unions, the house elves eventually join together to help Harry and his friends, and gain their own freedom in the process.
Of course, not everyone celebrated today. A judge in South Wales, perhaps taking on the role of a #BackToHogwarts style Scrooge, recently ridiculed a lawyer for "looking like something out of Harry Potter." With any luck, that lawyer was able to spend September 1 celebrating in peace.
[Image credit: Gini 33]