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Start-of-Term Feast

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"The very best of evenings to you! […] Now… to our new students, welcome, to our old students, welcome back! Another year full of magical education awaits you…"
Albus Dumbledore starts his announcements over the 1996 Start-of-Term Feast.[src]

The Start-of-Term Feast is the traditional feast of the first night at Hogwarts and welcomes the start of the school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is held in the Great Hall on the night of the First of September following the arrival of the students on the Hogwarts Express. The Welcoming Feast is notable for including the Sorting of all new first year students into their Houses.

The Feast is held in the Great Hall just like all of the other meals at Hogwarts, and is traditionally attended by every student and teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft And Wizardry, other than Sybill Trelawney. During the Feast, hundreds of plates are set on each of the four House tables and are filled with food magically appearing on the empty plates, prepared by house-elves working in the kitchens below. Likewise, it is emptied by vanishing before their eyes when the Feast is complete.

The types of food served are roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops, lamb chops, sausages, bacon, steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and peppermint humbugs. For dessert, they had blocks of assorted ice cream, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, and rice pudding.

Dumbledore: "Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."
Harry: "Is he — a bit mad?"
Percy: "Mad? He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?"
Harry Potter and Percy Weasley's reaction to Dumbledores 1991 Start-of-Term speech[src]

The Welcoming Feast is also used to introduce new members of the teaching staff to the student body, and to pass out important announcements and messages concerning the new school year. This is usually done in the form of a speech by the Headmaster or Headmistress. They may also choose to say a few words during this time, such as in 1991, when Albus Dumbledore told the students, "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!", or in 1994, when he said "Tuck In!" Hereby, depending on the mood of the Head, the School Song may be sung, to no particular melody other than the individual's choosing. Sometimes, there is a musical presentation by pupils during the feast, for example in 1993, the school choir led a presentation of Something Wicked This Way Comes before the announcements.

Divination professor Sybill Trelawney usually chose not to attend such functions.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

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