Hogwarts robes and flying broomsticks fire up Fed Square

Harry Potter fans around the world still find plenty of excuses to celebrate their favourite series. 

By RINA TSE

It is hard to imagine, but 20 years have passed since JK Rowling introduced the world to The Boy Who Lived – Harry Potter.

Melbourne’s Potterheads didn’t shy away from an excuse to go full blast with the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Flying broomsticks, Hogwarts robes, wands and deluxe ties whipped up Federation Square Plaza on September 3.

For those who were unable to celebrate the birthday of the beloved series at King’s Cross station, the city of Melbourne offered a great substitute in the form of Harry Potter Day.

This one-day-only event was held at the Melbourne Writers Festival and was like no other event in Melbourne.

It kicked off on a showery morning with a panel headed by journalist David Astle, actor Ben McKenzie, Levi Pinfold (who illustrated Bloomsbury’s 20th anniversary covers for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) and author Lili Wilkinson.

They discussed their favourite sections of the books through engaging live performances and readings.

One of the faces of the Writers Festival’s celebration of Harry Potter.

Even the moody and dark weather didn’t upset the fans. A fun trivia session and entertaining cosplay competition kept up the enchanted atmosphere. Adults and children alike transformed from muggles into their favourite characters.

Federation Square Plaza was transformed into Hogwarts.

One of the highlights of the celebration was the screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the afternoon, which pleased most in the audience.

Aside from these events, Harry Potter Day also offered a selection of specialty foods. The butterbeer and pumpkin spice lattes were certainly the must-try beverages, as they are famous in the wizarding world.

The butterbeer tasted like a less-cloying butterscotch that perfectly freshened up the rainy day. The cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the pumpkin spice latte made it sweet and spicy at the same time.

The Harry Potter Day celebrations offered a relaxing and enjoyable experience full of wizarding knowledge and delicious food, and left you with a deeper appreciation for JK Rowling’s effort in presenting the world with a series that transcends age and ties generations.

The fact that 2017 marks the true end of the series — the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is titled “Nineteen years later,” which is September 1, 2017 in the books — made the event almost surreal.