Friday, September 22, 2017

Elephants and hobbits but no cars on the Autumnal Equinox

Happy Autumnal Equinox!  I've written enough about the astronomical reason for the season, so I'm celebrating three other holidays that share this day according to National Day Calendar and that have some connection to the themes of this blog.  Follow over the jump for them.

The first is the last one mentioned in the subject, Car Free Day.

Car Free Day is observed annually on September 22.

Take the bus. Walk. Ride a bike. Stay home.  But whatever you do, don’t travel by car on Car Free Day.  As a way to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, promote mass transit, cycling, and walking, Car Free Day was developed based on regular car free days that have been a long-standing practice in Europe and Scandinavia.


Get through the day without using your car. Use #CarFreeDay to post on social media.


The Environmental Transportation Association set the first European Car Free Day in 2000.
Unfortunately, I have two appointments in locations that are not accessible by public transportation.  In addition, my medical condition and the heat (it may be the first dall of fall, but the weather thinks it's July) preclude me from riding a bike that I don't own to the sites.  Crud.  Next year, observing will be easier, as the day will fall on a Saturday.  All the rest of you who can take the day off from driving, please do so and forgive me for being a bit of a hypocrite.

The next one, National Elephant Appreciation Day, also overlaps with the environmental theme of this blog.

National Elephant Appreciation Day is observed every year on September 22.

People of all ages are fascinated by elephants.  They are larger than life and profoundly intelligent animals.  The average lifespan of an elephant is 60 to 70 years, and they develop remarkably close family bonds.  They are very playful animals who love to frolic in the water.  Elephants are herbivorous animals who will eat almost any type of plant from grass to trees.  In captivity, they are also very fond of cabbage, lettuce, bananas, apples and many other types of fruits and vegetables.


Show your appreciation today by visiting the elephants at your local zoo. Use #ElephantAppreciationDay to post on social media.


National Elephant Appreciation Day originated in 1996.
There are no longer any elephants at the Detroit Zoo, which is just as well, as I would have to drive to see them.  The closest remaining ones are at the Toledo Zoo; no, I'm not visiting them, either.

Finally, a holiday related to my interest in fantasy and science fiction, Hobbit Day.

Hobbit Day is observed annually on September 22.

In the world of Middle-earth, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins share a birthday which is celebrated on September 22nd. According to the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo and Frodo were born during the Third Age in the years 2890 and 2968 respectively.  Translated to Shire-reckoning, Bilbo was born in 1290 and Frodo in 1368.

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. ~Bilbo Baggins ~ Lord of the Rings ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Join Hobbit Day celebrations or have a Hobbit Day party of your own.  Reading the book or watching the movies are other ways to enjoy the day.  Use #HobbitDay to post on social media.


The American Tolkien Society first proclaimed Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week in 1978.
Much to my surprise, I've mentioned hobbits here quite a bit, all in reference to movies.

That's it for today's holidays.  Enjoy observing whichever of these suits your fancy (or fantasy)!


  1. So -- the ideal activity for today would be to ride an elephant (not a car) to a special showing of Lord of the Rings.

    The Oregon Zoo here in Portland is known for its elephants. I've been there to see them. You don't appreciate how big they really are until you're right next to one. They're huge. But I'm uncomfortable with the ethics of keeping such highly self-aware creatures cooped up for years when under natural conditions they would be roaming around for miles (and, in the case of the females, living in much bigger social groups).

    I didn't realize elephants only ate plants -- thought they were omnivores. One can always learn something new.

    1. "So -- the ideal activity for today would be to ride an elephant (not a car) to a special showing of Lord of the Rings."

      Or of "The Hobbit" trilogy or the Rankin-Bass or Ralph Bakshi cartoons. But, yeah, pretty much.

      Your reservations about elephants are among the reasons why the Detroit Zoo no longer keeps elephants. Toledo keeps them in part because they have better facilities.

      By the way, I was in Portland last month for the Coffee Party's annual board retreat. If I had more time I'd have tried to contact you.

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