Back to Hogwarts! 7 ways to celebrate this 'Harry Potter' anniversary

It's Sept. 1. Summer's over, fall is here, and it's time for school to start again. And if you're a wizard, it means it's time to go back to Hogwarts.

Yes, today is the day that young witches and wizards all over the U.K. are heading to King's Cross Station to walk through the barrier onto Platform 9 3/4, jump on the Hogwarts Express and trade their jeans for robes. At least it is in our hearts, anyway.

As J.K. Rowling pointed out on Twitter Friday, this Sept. 1 marks a special anniversary for the series — it's the day depicted in the "19 years later" epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry and Ginny Potter's youngest son Albus Severus departs for school.

For this fictitious (but still very important) occasion, we rounded up the seven ways to celebrate before you have to do something awful like go to a school where you are not taught how to turn a rat into a wine glass. For shame.

1. Listen to Back to Hogwarts from A Very Potter Musical

"Back to witches and wizards, and magical beasts
To goblins and ghosts and to magical feasts
It's all that I love, and it's all that I need
At Hogwarts, Hogwarts
I think I'm going back..."

A Very Potter Musical is a gift to us all. You should actually just watch the entire thing.

2. Go take a picture at the actual Platform 9 3/4

If you're lucky enough to be in London, that is. And are willing to run full-speed at a stationary object. Every year, fans gather at King's Cross to celebrate the back-to-school event, and this year's celebrations included the actor Warwick Davis, known for playing Professor Filius Flitwick.

3. Explore Pottermore's new Hogwarts tour

For fans unable to travel to a Potter-related destination on Sept. 1, Pottermore unveiled a digital Hogwarts tour on Friday, giving users a new way to explore Harry's alma mater.

In addition to hotspots that expand to give more information about key Hogwarts locations, visitors can also "fly through" the castle's exterior, the Forbidden Forest and Hagrid’s hut and the Quidditch pitch.

4. Eat a chocolate frog

They're really real. You can buy them and eat them. Why haven't you done it yet? Maybe yours ran away from you.

5. Read or go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Haven't read the new play yet? Now is the time to go out and get the script book, since its story begins on Albus' back-to-school day. Reading just the script is an incomplete experience of the eighth Potter story, sure, but it still has Harry, Ron and Hermione. You can register for tickets for the Broadway run of the show on Oct. 1. 

6. Watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J.K. Rowling’s magical world got a retro spinoff with 2016's Fantastic Beasts film, which USA TODAY called "a confident and surprisingly funny adventure that’s more charming than most of the eight Harry Potter films."

7. Read one of the original Harry Potter books or watch one of the movies

Nothing beats those seven years. Let's go back to Hogwarts, friends.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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