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2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first of seven instalments in the Harry Potter franchise. Since 1997, J.K. Rowling’s magical world has exploded and engulfed muggles. The fandom has been waiting with bated breath for this monumental anniversary.
Around the world, “Potter heads” (as the Harry Potter fandom is known) are preparing their celebrations. At the end of January, Harry Potter World in Universal Studios (Orlando) hosted a Harry Potter celebration that spanned over three days. Many Harry Potter actors attended, including Tom Felton, who played Harry’s Slytherin counterpart Draco Malfoy. This festival saw numerous Q and A sessions, demonstrations, film screenings, and behind the scene revelations. Fans flocked to Orlando for A Celebration of Harry Potter, and none were disappointed.
Pottermore, the official Harry Potter website, has announced that Bloomsbury Publishing will be releasing limited edition house-themed covers of the novel. Levi Pinfold, a highly acclaimed and award winning illustrator, has partnered with the publishing house to deliver unique designs to celebrate this milestone. Each house has different hard cover and paperback artwork pertaining to their houses. Pinfold has designed the crests for each house using traditional heraldry techniques and the iconic house colours. These features highlight what Pinfold deems to be the most significant aspects of the houses. These editions will be in store in June, and the covers can be viewed on Pottermore.
Rowling is also preparing for the celebration. Later in the year she will be opening an exhibition of her magical world at the British Library. This exhibition will include details on the creation of Rowling’s world, the conception of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, diagrams and explanations of various magical creatures and plants, original and unseen Potter material, as well as the British Library’s own collection of the history of magic from all over the world. Bloomsbury Publishing and the British Library are very excited to collaborate to bring the magic to life. The exhibition will celebrate the joy and complexity of the magical Harry Potter world.
Be sure to look for celebrations and possible pub quizzes in your area as the year progresses, particularly around the time of Harry’s birthday (31st of July) and when the Hogwarts Express leaves King’s Cross on the 1st of September, as festivities are sure to increase. This is a historical event which will always be remembered by wizards, witches, and muggles alike.
Illustration: Michal Linden