For all of my fellow witches and wizards, today is September 1st and you know what that means! For all you Muggles (non-magic folk) who don’t know what I’m talking about, September 1st marks the first day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unlike you Muggles, we love the first day of school, because Hogwarts is the greatest learning institution on the planet.
1. At Hogwarts, the school year always begins on September 1st.
2. Students can board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station, on Platform 9 ¾. The train to Hogwarts leaves promptly at 11 A.M. Don’t be late!
3. After getting off at the Hogsemeade Station, first year students board boats on the Great Lake, while the older students ride in Thestral-drawn carriages to Hogwarts.
4. After all the older students have arrived, the first-years are brought into the Great Hall and the Sorting Ceremony is held. This is when the Sorting Hat decides which of the four houses the student belongs in.
5. Hogwarts was founded in 990 A.D by two witches and two wizards.
6. The four founders of Hogwarts were: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin.
7. It was decided that there would be four separate houses at the school to sort the students, based on the different personalities these founding members had.
8. After a dispute over who would be allowed into the school, Slytherin left because the others would not agree to only admit pure-blood students.
9. Before leaving, Slythin built the Chamber of Secrets, unbeknownst to the others, which was home to his murderous Basilisk until the year 1993!
10. 300 years after the school was founded, the first Triwizard Tournament was held. It is a competition between the three most prestigious schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. It was meant to be a way for students of different nationalities to compete and socialize with one another.
11. In 1792, when a Cockatrice went loose during one of the Triwizard Tournament tasks, the heads of the three schools (Hogwarts included) were all injured by the deadly creature.
12. The ceiling in the Great Hall has been bewitched to reflect the sky outside it, which is why you can see the stars while inside the room.
13. It is not possible to apparate or disapparate into, or from within, Hogwarts. Unless you are Albus Dumbledore, that is.
14. Muggles cannot see Hogwarts (probably why you Muggles have never heard of it). If a Muggle were to stumble upon the area, they will see a ruin with a sign saying: “DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.”
15. Muggle technologies, like cell phones and laptops, are rendered useless when on the grounds of Hogwarts. No cell phone reception for miles! And definitely no WiFi.
16. If a boy tries to enter the girls’ dormitories, the stairs will immediately turn into a slide. So, no sneaking around after hours!
17. During feasts, food appears by magic, but as we all know thanks to the Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration, food cannot appear out of thin air. It is the work of the Hogwarts’ house elves. They work tirelessly in the kitchens to prepare meals for the entire school.
18. The house elves were first brought to Hogwarts by Helga Hufflepuff (true to her Hufflepuff nature), she wanted to offer them refuge and a place where they would not be abused.
19. Students need to be careful on the stairs, they’re always changing. By the Gryffindor Tower, there is a false step that Neville Longbottom has gotten stuck in a few times.
20. Hogwarts is home to the Room of Requirement, a secret room on the 7th floor that only appears when a person is in great need of it.
21. You can access the “Shrieking Shack” through a hidden entrance at the Whomping Willow, a tree on the Hogwarts grounds. But it’s not an easy way to get inside.
22. The Whomping Willow has not always been on school grounds. It was put in when Remus Lupin started at Hogwarts, at the insistence of Albus Dumbledore, as a place for him to go during every full moon.
23. Hogwarts’ motto is: “Draco dormiens nunquam titllandu.” The translation is: “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”
24. At Hogwarts, there is a Frog Choir that will perform at special occasions.
25. Peeves, a character you’ve never seen in the films, is a poltergeist that has lived in the castle since 993 A.D. He is in indestructible spirit of chaos.
26. The Battle of Hogwarts took place during the early hours of May 2nd, 1998, on the grounds of Hogwarts and inside the Great Hall. The end of the battle signified the defeat of Voldemort and the end to the Second Wizarding War, but also resulted in a great deal of destruction to Hogwarts. The building was restored afterwards and reopened for the following school year.
What is your favorite part about Hogwarts? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #WelcomeBackToHogwarts!