Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Credit: Murray Close

Accio random Harry Potter history facts!

The greatest — well, one of the greatest — things about the Harry Potter canon is that there was just so much stuff that happened. The books are full of flashbacks and details, and J.K. Rowling is great about providing additional information — Pottermore — about the world, even if it was never in print (But we’re still waiting on that promised encyclopedia, Jo).

Because of that, you can pick almost any date on the calendar, and read up on exactly what happened that day in history. You know, hypothetically. I want to state for the record that I fully understand that it’s not “real.”

August 22 is a major day for Harry and Co. It’s no April 1 (Happy Birthday, Fred and George!) or October 31 (there isn’t enough time to list everything that ever has gone down on Halloween!) but according to exhaustive HP fansites, it is the date of one of the most infamous Quidditch World Cups of all time: the one from Goblet of Fire, where Ireland defeats Bulgaria and Barty Crouch Jr. kicks off the real story, casting the Dark Mark into the sky using Harry Potter’s own wand. It’s also Percy Weasley’s birthday, if you want to celebrate a traitor who finally came back to his family in the end.

Writing this out made me realize a fun game you can play with your friends (and/or way to creep them out). Recognize how much random Harry Potter info you take as fact — birthdays, Dumbledore’s sexual orientation, the fact that Harry and Ginny are showing up at King’s Cross Station in 2017 — that was never mentioned in the books or films that you know from other sources. The first step is admitting you have a problem love. Then join me in some years-too-late obsessing. What are some of your favorite HP dates? (Not to be confused with romantic dates involving Potter, which would be, obviously, amazing!) Did you ever throw any parties that weren’t related to book/movie premieres? When Voldemort was finally vanquished (May 2), perhaps?

Want to relive all your favorite Harry Potter dates and moments? Enter the Harry Potter Ultimate Experience sweepstakes to win a trip to London and receive the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection 31-disc box set, out on Sept. 7.

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