Drums in the Deep: NU Middle-Earth Studies Department Calls for Respectful Durin's Day Celebrations
With Durin’s Day fast approaching, we would like to take this time to discuss appropriate and respectful manners of celebrating the Dwarvish New Year.
In Middle-earth, Durin’s Day falls on the last new moon of autumn. While scholars debate the correlation of the Tolkien calendar to our own, we calculate that this year’s Durin’s Day will fall on November 22nd, the final new moon before the start of winter. The day is named for the Dwarf king Durin the Deathless, the first of the Dwarves awakened by Aulë following the birth of the Elves. Traditionally, the holiday is a time of honoring King Durin I, reflecting on one’s past, and celebrating the start to a new and prosperous year.
Unfortunately, instead of viewing the holiday as an opportunity for cultural and educational growth, many members of our community choose to participate in festivities deemed marginalizing and offensive. Dwarf-tossing is not a sport. Mead is to be quaffed from pewter tankards, not guzzled from Solo™ cups. Wearing false beards ridicules the heritage and dedication of all dwarves, male and female alike, who spend untold hours grooming.
This week we urge all students to consider the implications of their actions before acting in a manner disrespectful to members of our community. Behavior we may view as harmless may be hurtful to and misunderstood by dwarves, who, when insulted, typically respond with battle axe in hand. As always, we strive to create a safe and supportive environment that fosters educational advancement and deepens cultural understanding. In that vein, we will be hosting a celebratory bonfire on the 22nd. Please join us for a cozy evening of refreshments and traditional Dwarvish song!
With that in mind, we heartily wish you a happy Durin’s Day!
Northwestern University Department of Middle-earth Studies