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The graduation ceremony is a yearly ritual performed at the end of the school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The graduate seventh year students leave the Castle in a poetic and symbolic way, as they leave via the enchanted boats that took them to Hogwarts prior to the start of their first year.
Behind the scenes
- John Noe: "Now, you know what I'm curious about now, is that one of the neatest things about the Hogwarts tradition is the entrance ceremony, from the whole riding the boats to the castle to the sorting ceremony. What kind of traditions is there for graduation, and leaving Hogwarts?"
- J.K. Rowling: "Do you know, John, I'm really glad you asked that, because I felt a huge sadness that I wouldn't write a graduation scene. […] I really, during the final book, kept thinking it would've been — it felt sad that the book wasn't going to end with that feast scene, the graduation scene, but it couldn't, it just couldn't. That's not the way it could've ended. It would've felt far too trite, and a lot of people felt the epilogue was too sentimental. I think to have a graduation scene on top of what just happened would've been absurd anticlimax."
- John Noe: "Did you have ideas for kind of traditions they would do, like ride the boats back out of Hogwarts —"
- J.K. Rowling: "Oh yeah, definitely! The boats would've been the most poetic and beautiful way to for them to leave, and symbolic in that they — Harry would have seen the Threstrals again. You know what I mean? It would've been a return to innocence really, and passage of water is so symbolic, in history of magic. So yeah, I think it would've been great."
- — "PotterCast Interviews J.K. Rowling, part one" PotterCast #130, 17 December 2007
- The graduation ceremony was, ever since J. K. Rowling first planned the series, going to be excluded from last instalment, as it would be an "absurd anticlimax". Although omitted from the series, Rowling always imagined it as a crossing of the Lake via the enchanted boats, a throwback to the students' first year at school and a "return to [their] innocence".