It is nearly Christmas, and around this time of year, I like to settle in with some homemade fire whiskey and marathon the entire Harry Potter series. On my third fire whiskey and approximately halfway through my bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, I start wishing that Hogwarts was a real place, that I could somehow hop on the Hogwarts Express and start my magical education.
Clearly I am not the only Harry Potter fan with this wish, as a group of enthusiasts in Poland and Denmark have come together to make College of Wizardry (CoW), their own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The first classes were held at fan-created Czocha College of Witchcraft and Wizardry in November. Held in a Polish castle, aspiring wizards from 11 countries spent four days working toward their S.P.E.L.L.s (Senior Protective Enchanter’s Lifelong License.)
Around 190 live-action role players (LARPers) attended, taking on the roles of students, teachers and other wizards. (And, yes, just like in the books, the professors ranged from “bumbling, absent-minded professors with scant memory of their own youth to sharp-tongued young lecturers.”
When not learning about spells and potions, the students, who were sorted into five houses, attended wizard dances and played Quidditch.
According to the college’s official site:
“It is a collaborative experience in the Nordic larp tradition, and is created by the players and organizers together, with everyone pitching in and helping make the magic come alive. It’s essentially the same as when kids use curtains as robes and sticks as wands and run around pretending to be witches and wizards — except we’re grownups with nicer costumes and a lot of experience in designing interactive experiences for each other.”
The cost of attending is $390 CAD plus travel costs to Poland, and the next session of CoW will be happening in April.
This could possibly be the dorkiest fan event I have ever heard of. Do I really want to learn to jinx my enemies, charm my friends, and stay up late in the Gryffindor common room, drinking Butterbeer?
Where do I sign up?