We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Today is an important day in the Harry Potter universe

September 1 is known to Harry Potter fans the world over as Back to Hogwarts Day, which is celebrated at King's Cross Station in London every year.

Harry Potter Day

Today is a big day for Harry Potter fans, as it’s Back to Hogwarts Day. Hundreds of enthusiasts dressed as their favorite characters descend on King’s Cross Station in London on September 1 every year to countdown to 11am – the time that the Hogwarts Express departs from platform 9 3/4 to begin the long journey to Hogsmeade. This year, celebrities were in attendance, and one couple of Harry Potter super-fans even got engaged at the event.

Back to Hogwarts Day 2023 also happened to coincide with extensive train strikes, with 13 train operators cancelling their services from the busy station. King’s Cross has a permanent corner dedicated to Harry Potter, with a trolley full of suitcases halfway through a wall – which, of course, is how you get to platform 9 3/4. And obviously there’s a gift shop.

The journey to Hogwarts on the Express is a stalwart of the books and movies, with a few exceptions. In Harry’s second year, he and Ron Weasley miss the train and have to steal Mr. Weasley’s flying car to get to Hogwarts. In his third year, dementors attack the train, causing Harry to faint and have to be revived by Professor Lupin’s chocolate.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione make the decision not to return to Hogwarts for what should be their seventh and final year. The ministry falls to the death eaters, and the trio set out in pursuit of the horcruxes they need to destroy in order to defeat Voldemort. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (2010) takes place entirely outside Hogwarts and is one of the best movies in the series.

YouTube Thumbnail

The Hogwarts Express is a feature of various theme parks – including Universal Studios in California and Florida, as well as the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London. On January 1, 2022, the Harry Potter cast returned to Hogwarts for a reunion, celebrating 20 years since the first movie.

Check out our guides to the best Harry Potter characters, the best Harry Potter villains, and the best Harry Potter spells.