Taking the Magic Online: Communities Celebrate Harry Potter Book Night 2021

You don’t have to look closely to see that Harry Potter Book Night 2021 celebrations were different from those of previous years.

Firstly, the date on which Potter fans across the globe get together to celebrate their favorite series was moved from its usual home in February to June 24 in response to COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom. Secondly, this year’s festivities embraced the Muggle marvel that is the Internet and encouraged fans to get together online rather than meeting in person at events.

 

A featured image of a "save the date" banner for Harry Potter Book Night 2021 is shown.

 

With this year’s theme paying homage to the number one retail destination in the wizarding world (Diagon Alley, of course), you could forgive fans for being disappointed that they were no longer able to visit their local bookstores and libraries. However, many of these communities instead hosted activities online and created take-home activity kits to bring magic into people’s homes. Schools also took advantage of in-person learning and pulled out all the stops to make the day magical for their students.

Keep reading to check out some of the ways communities celebrated Harry Potter Book Night 2021.

When in doubt, go to the library.

The Livermore Public Library in California also encouraged costumes at its online event. After picking up activity kits at the library in the lead-up to the event, fans jumped online to take part in the festivities. The Harry Potter Book Night 2021 celebrations also formed part of the library's summer reading program, in which the community is aiming to clock 500,000 minutes of reading time!

 

 

Hampshire Library Service, UK, held a themed quiz live from Winchester Discovery Centre. Quiz teams of up to six people battled it out in a test of wizarding world knowledge with a special appearance from the boy wizard himself.

 

 

 

Sticking with the quiz format, Meath County Library, Ireland, incorporated a test of Potter knowledge into its celebrations, with a Harry Potter gift basket awarded to the winning team. Attendees also showed off their owl drawing skills, took part in games, and were registered for the library's Summer Stars Reading Adventure to get a head start on their summer reading.

 

 

There was also a design your own Diagon Alley store competition. The winning entry was for a store called sMuggler's Den: Emporium of Muggle Artifacts, which we know Mr. Weasley would love!

 

 

Those are just some of the ways in which libraries helped communities safely celebrate Harry Potter Book Night 2021. And of course, it wasn't just libraries getting involved. Online education company Astrix Study hosted a livestream event that allowed fans to participate in discussions and activities. During the "Discover the Secrets of Diagon Alley" session, fans were treated to a walk-through of the Diagon Alley at Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Those who attended the livestream event were given an e-certificate for participating.

 

School Celebrations: A Magic Beyond All We Do Here.

Some schools also took advantage of in-person learning and turned Harry Potter Book Night into Harry Potter Book Day. Within class bubbles and following coronavirus restrictions, students and teachers celebrated by dressing up, decorating classrooms, and even having visits from an owl sanctuary.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Cumbria, UK, held a decorate your door competition that turned up some magical designs.

 

 

St. Bernadette's Primary School in Birmingham, UK, took the opportunity to celebrate not only Harry Potter but also the wonders of reading for fun!

 

 

The English department at Rushcliffe School, Nottingham, UK, had fun dressing up and listening to readings from the first book in the series.

 

 

At Callington Community College, Callington, UK, teachers dressed up as characters from the series (spot Stan Shunpike), and students played quidditch and took part in quizzes and other activities. The school even had a visit from a local owl sanctuary!

 

Those are just some of the ways in which communities safely celebrated Harry Potter Book Night 2021. If you attended any virtual events, please share them with us on our social media!

 

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Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!