Harry Potter superfans celebrate boy wizard's birthday on 31 July

Crystal and Blair visit the Hogwarts Express.
Credit: Handout/PA
The Butterbeers are on me: Crystal and her daughter Blair toast the birthday of the world's most famous boy wizard Credit: Handout/PA

Star Wars fans celebrate their favourite film franchise on 4 May, and the movie's most famous mutant lizard Godzilla mark all things reptilian on 3 November.

But for fans Harry Potter, 31 July is the day that the butterbeers come out and the Gryffindor scarves go on.

It's the day that fans of the bespectacled one mark the character's "birthday", 26 years on from the publication of the first book in the series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, was published.

And for 24-year-old Crystal Eve the annual celebration of all things Potter is something of a family affair having passed her love for the stories to her five-year-old daughter Blair Drysdale.

The pair, who live in Clacton in Essex were planning to spend the day "playing Harry Potter and dressing up and probably taking some mandatory photos".

Crystal Eve and her daughter Blair Drysdale enjoying a butterbeer for Harry's birthday. Credit: Handout/PA

They recently visited Harry Potter Studios, as a fifth birthday treat for Blair, and said they had a "really, really good time" including drinking butterbeer - a sweet drink from the Wizarding World which has since inspired real-world beverages.

"Mummy and Tom [Blair's stepfather] had some butterbeer, but I didn't want to try some, except the cream," Blair said.

"I pulled up some mandrakes, I made a friend there and I got a puffskein. I also got Harry Potter birthday badges."

Ms Eve - who has been a fan since she was a child and last went to Harry PotterStudios when she was 12 - added that the "trigger" for the visit was the release of the Hogwarts Legacy game.

"Blair really enjoyed watching me play it and then ended up developing her own little love for Harry Potter and it just unfolded from there.

"I'm getting to relive my childhood memories through her, which is quite lovely."

She said she has always been drawn to "the idea of this alternative place" and was particularly enamoured with the robes worn by the characters in the movie series.

"I was only about four when the Chamber Of Secrets film came out and I would sit there with a blanket over my shoulders... and would pretend I was in the films when I was at school," she said.

Blair's bedroom is filled with Harry Potter goodies

The room in the family's household which has the most Harry Potter items is Blair's bedroom.

She was surprised with the decorated room - which contains numerous gifted or DIYed items - on 12 July - her fifth birthday.

"I put a post out on a Facebook page for Tendring primary recycling scheme and I explained Blair's love for Harry Potter and if anyone had any old Harry Potter stuff that they didn't want any more," Ms Eve said.

"We were gifted items like a sorting hat, a platform nine-and-three-quarters light, Harry and Hermione teddies, a Hogwarts pillow and blanket, and I found things in charity shops."

Blair added: "The sorting hat is my favourite."

Ms Eve said: "There's going to be a new Harry Potter TV series coming out and I had the movies when I was growing up and I think that's really nice, because it means there's a whole new generation that's going to experience this."

Danny Dawkins has been a Harry Potter superfan since he was a boy Credit: Danny Dawkins/PA

In neighbouring Kent, Danny Dawkins, 21, has been a fan since he was about seven and said his first time reading one of the books from the series was a "magical experience".

"I remember walking to HMV here in the UK and picking up the Half Blood Prince book, and reading that book for the first time was such a magical experience," he said."My time in school wasn't the greatest - I was that sort of nerdy red-headed kid in the corner and Harry Potter was an escape at times."

Mr Dawkins has a collection of "hundreds" of Harry Potter items including figurines, Lego, wands and books."There's one piece in particular that's made by the Noble Collection and it's a Vertebrae candle, which is one of the hardest pieces to find.

"It took me years to find because originally it was discontinued, and it was one of my best Harry Potter bargains as well because I only paid about £50 for it, when sometimes they can be sold for £4,000-£5,000."

He said he believes JK Rowling's books will "live on for hundreds of years in the same way as Shakespeare's work has".

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