Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a Britishwizarding boarding school teaching the magical arts, located in Scotland inside Hogwarts Castle. The castle is in the mountains near a loch. The precise location of the school can never be uncovered because it has been rendered Unplottable. Similarly, most wizarding schools locations are protected in order to prevent their ways of teaching being revealed, as well as protect the students and schools themselves from any harm.
Established around the 9th or 10th century, Hogwarts is considered to be one of the finest magical institutions in the wizarding world, though other notable schools includeBeauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute. Children with magical abilities may be enrolled at birth, and acceptance is confirmed by owl post at age eleven.
The school's motto is Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus and is in Latin, which translates to "Never tickle a sleeping dragon"
Hogwarts was founded around 990 A.D. by two wizards and two witches: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They each represented an aspect of personality that they wanted to bring out in new students. However, shortly after founding the school, Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders about blood purity. Slytherin wanted to admit only pure-blood students, but the other three founders disagreed. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. When his own true heir, the Heir of Slytherin, returned to the school, he or she would be able to open the Chamber and unleash a murderous basilisk to purge the school of all Muggle-born students.
There seemed to be other ways of entering the school, such as via brooms or Floo powder, or simply Apparating to a nearby location such as Hogsmeade. Missing the Hogwarts Express for any reason is a very serious problem but will not cost the student points as long as they get there before the term has officially started.
The Hogwarts Express brings the students to Hogsmeade Station, where the first years traditionally cross the Black Lake in boats with the gamekeeper, and go under an opening in the rocks upon which Hogwarts is built, through a curtain of ivy, and finally into an underground harbour.
Older students travel on the road in carriages pulled by thestrals (invisible to any that hasn't witnessed death) to the castle. The Welcoming Feast takes place in the Great Hall. This feast includes the Sorting ceremony, followed by a few words from the current Headmaster or Headmistress, the banquet starts after this, including large quantities of food and drink. The feast is closed with a few more words from theHeadmaster, but it also included the usual "start-of-term notices".
After dinner, students are led to their house common room by a prefect. This is a special time for new students to get comfortable with their surroundings, because the next day classes begin, 2 September. The class schedules are handed out during breakfast by the Heads of House. After two weeks of classes, theQuidditch team trials and flying lessons for the first years usually occur.
Hogwarts' school year is structured in a similar way to other non-magical schools and colleges in the UK, with a three-term year punctuated by holidays at Christmas and Easter and bounded by the long summer holiday of nine weeks. Students have the option of staying at Hogwarts for the winter and spring holidays. Those who choose to stay at the castle do not have lessons and attend a feast on Christmas Day. Students also do not have classes the week of Easter, but this is much less enjoyable due to the large amount of work that the teachers assign students at this time in preparation for final exams.
Other than the breaks and weekends, students do not receive holidays. However, students third year and above may visitHogsmeade, the local village, occasionally. There are normally four feasts per year: the start-of-term feast at the beginning of the school year, end-of-term feast at the end of the school year, and feasts at Hallowe'en and Christmas. Feasts are also called to mark special occasions, as in Goblet of Fire, when there was a feast to celebrate the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament.
Classes will proceed normally and the next notable event occurs on the evening of 31 October: theHallowe'en feast. Decorations include giant pumpkins and flocks of hundreds of bats flying across the halls. The served foods include pumpkin treats, tarts, cakes and all sorts of magical sweets. The Quidditchseason starts usually with the first Quidditch match in the first weeks of November. In the second week of December, the Deputy Head takes names of those who are staying at Hogwarts over the Christmas holidays. The first term usually ends about a week before Christmas and most of the students and some of the teachers go home by the school train.
In Triwizard Tournament years, the Yule Ball occurs on the evening of Christmas Day, ending at midnight. On 25 December, a Christmas feast is held in the Great Hall. Shortly after 6 January (Epiphany aka Twelfth Night), the Hogwarts Express returns to Hogsmeade; the second term begins. The exact dates of the beginning of the Easter holidays vary every year. During these holidays, the students may go home. The final exams are held the first week of June and the results come out on the second week. In the evening before the Hogwarts Express goes back to London, the End-of-Term Feast is held. The Hogwarts Express returns to London during the third week of June. Some staff and all students leave Hogwarts for summer holiday.