July 31st is a pretty big day for Harry Potter fans. Not only is it Harry's birthday, but this year it's also the release date of the first new Harry Potter book in nine years, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the script release of the play of the same name. Maybe you've heard of it.
If you're a big Harry Potter fan, you've probably celebrated his birthday once or twice in your life, or attended a midnight book release party. This year, you'll be lucky enough to get to do both at once! If you can't manage to partake in this weekend's festivities, however, don't fret: there are plenty of ways you can celebrate the Boy Who Lived every day of the year.
People who only celebrate Harry on his birthday or on the day of a book release are kind of like people who are only romantic on Valentine's Day: the gesture's nice, but it's not good enough. A true fan can't turn their love of the Harry Potter books off, and they proudly display that love all year round. This can mean doing an annual rereading of the series, having a movie marathon, or dropping enough daily Harry Potter references to drive non-fans crazy. If you're looking for ideas on how to up your game, however, here are seven ways to celebrate Harry Potter in your everyday life.
1. Treat yourself to a beautiful new edition of the books
I'm pretty old school when it comes to my Harry Potter books. I still have all of my original editions, complete with covers that are falling off and gel-pen scribbles on the inside covers. Though I adore my originals, lately I've been thinking about investing in a new set. I would never get rid of my originals (blasphemy!!), but some of them are looking pretty rough. Plus, there are some gorgeous new editions out, and I've always wanted the complete set of UK covers...
2. Show off your love with some awesome Harry Potter gear...
I think I had every piece of Harry Potter paraphernalia under the sun growing up. Key chains, t-shirts, posters, you name it. I may be older now, but that doesn't mean I don't love collecting Harry Potter stuff anymore. I'm moving into a new house next week, and I'm already plotting ways to fill it with Harry Potter-themed candles and coffee mugs. I also regularly wear my Three Broomsticks tank top to yoga and my fellow geeky yogis always go nuts for it.
3. ...Or go all in and get a tattoo
If you're a serious ride-or-die Harry Potter fan, maybe think about making your fandom permanent with a Harry Potter tattoo. It can be tiny, subtle, or completely over-the-top; it just depends on your style. I've always admired other people's Harry Potter tattoos, and am contemplating getting one myself. I just love the idea of taking my love of Harry Potter with me wherever I go! Plus, it's a great way to identify yourself to other Harry Potter fanatics, and there's nothing better than geeking out with total strangers.
4. Start listening to the audiobooks
You may have read the books a million times, but have you given the audiobooks a try? My aunt has four kids in high school and college, and they still listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks anytime they take a long family vacation. Not only is listening to the audiobooks kind of like being a little kid at story time, but think of how much better random tasks — like making spreadsheets or cleaning the house — can be if you're listening to Harry Potter at the same time! Also, Jim Dale, who narrates the books for the American version of the audiobooks, is incredible.
5. Share your love of Harry Potter with others
I love the fact that I was able to share my love for Harry Potter with my little sister, who's now a super fan, and I can't wait to buy the books for my younger cousin. I'm even constantly pestering my boyfriend to finish the series. The best way to show your love for Harry Potter is to share the books with others. Maybe that means lending the books to your younger family members or neighbors, or convincing your adult friends to finally give the series a try. I wish I could read the series again for the first time, but the next best thing is watching someone I care about do that!
6. Give Harry Potter recipes a try (including the boozy ones)
Fans who have been able to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Universal Studios have been able to try some Harry Potter culinary staples for themselves (am I the only one who didn't like the Butterbeer?), but just because you can't get to Florida doesn't mean you should miss out on the fun! Learn how to make treacle tart, or try to whip up your own boozy version of the gang's favorite drink. Can someone please throw a Harry Potter-themed dinner party and invite me?
7. Reread some amazing Harry Potter fanfiction
You're never too old for Harry Potter fanfiction, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Back when I still had to wait years in between installments, I turned to my favorite Harry Potter fan websites to help me pass the time (shout out to the original Mugglenet team, wherever you are!). This quickly lead me to message boards, fan theories, and, of course, fanfiction. Fanfiction occasionally gets a bad rep for being poorly written or too smutty (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I've found that a ton of Harry Potter fanfiction is actually really well done. I reread some recently, and it brought on some major nostalgia.
Images: Juniper Books, MMTrinkets/Etsy, munkustrapp/Instagram, Warner Bros., Giphy (4)