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.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Hogwarts choir was seen singing the song Something Wicked This Way Comes conducted by Professor Flitwick, though it is not shown in the book itself.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the candidates from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons are introduced during the Welcoming Feast. However, in the book they arrive prior to the Halloween feast.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Disc 2) (Seen through a window)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game