What Does "19 Years Later" Mean In Harry Potter? 5 Things You Should Know About This Magical Wizarding World Celebration
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, fall has finally arrived, bringing Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Harry Potter Day with it. What does "19 years later" mean, you ask? Sit down and learn a thing or two, Muggle, because it's only the most magical day of the year!
This year marked the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone — that's the original, British title for Sorcerer's Stone, in case you didn't know — which first apparated onto store shelves on June 26, 1997. That's why you've seen all things Potter, from new books to Facebook spells, coming out this year.
Also, for those not in the know: The first Harry Potter book takes place in 1991, and the series chronicles Harry's fight with Voldemort until 1998, when the Dark Lord was finally defeated. So things can get hairy when we're talking about Harry Potter anniversaries, simply because any given year might have multiple milestones to celebrate.
Obviously, being the 20th anniversary of the pop-culture phenomenon that is Harry Potter makes 2017 a more auspicious year than most, but there's much more to it than just a simple book-birthday. Keep reading below to find out why this year's Harry Potter Day is oh-so special.
It Lands On The First Day Of School For Hogwarts Students
Unlike U.S. schools, which may start new academic years in September, August, or even July, most schools in the U.K. re-assemble each year in early September. Hogwarts students, however, take the Express train to their wizardry school on Sep. 1 each year. Therefore, Harry Potter Day is a time to pine for our Hogwarts letters and celebrate a renewal of the Harry Potter magic.
Potterheads Meet Up At Platform 9 3/4 To Celebrate
Ever since we learned of its existence in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Potterheads have been trying to get to King's Cross station's Platform 9 3/4. On Harry Potter Day, however, fans of Rowling's books and movies show up for a chance to spot second-generation characters like Albus Severus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Rose Granger-Weasley.
You Can Experience The Trip Back To Hogwarts For Yourself
Pottermore announced this new feature Friday morning on Twitter. This interactive experience allows you to explore Hogwarts as never before. Find the 100 hidden hotspots to read all about your dream school, and have fun flying around the Hogwarts grounds.
There's Always A Chance That J.K. Rowling Will Show Up
Back in 2015, Rowling sent out a special Harry Potter Day tweet from Edinburgh to remind everyone at King's Cross to wish James Sirius Potter good luck on his first trip to Hogwarts. For 2017, a rumor spread that J.K. Rowling would show up for an unadvertised appearance at Platform 9 3/4. That rumor turned out to be false, but Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, who portrayed both Griphook and Professor Flitwick, rolled in on a Segway to talk to fans. So, although Rowling hasn't shown up yet, there's no reason to think that she never will.
Harry Potter Day Might Dwindle Off After 2017
Today's the day Albus Severus Potter boards the Hogwarts Express at King's Cross for the first time #19yearslater ⚡️— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 1, 2017
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and it's possible that this is the last we'll hear of Harry Potter fans gathering on Platform 9 3/4 to ring in Hogwarts' new year. Sep. 1, 2017 is the date of both the "Nineteen Years Later" epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Although Lily Luna Potter and Hugo Granger-Weasley are still waiting for their Hogwarts letters, their first days of school might not generate as much interest as that of the Boy Who Lived's more famous son.