By Sonam Rikha ’24
Universal Studios isn’t the only place where you can try the legendary butter beer from Harry Potter. In a matter of twenty-four hours, what once was Frary dining hall—a cafeteria for Muggles––is transformed into the magical cafeteria of Hogwarts. Banners of the four Hogwarts houses hang above the long rows of tables. Upon entrance, you are greeted by dining hall staff in Harry Potter costumes. A table with the sorting hat and an array of free Harry Potter glasses appears in front of you. As you grab a plate, you are met with the difficult decision of choosing between Gilleyweed Stalks, Yorkshire Pudding & Gravy, and Yule Ball Ghoulash. If you’re craving something sweet, a Golden Snitch Cake Pop or a Cookie Wand could do the trick.
For any Harry Potter fan, Pomona’s annual Harry Potter-themed holiday dinner is a dream come true. Once you push through the heavy brown doors of Frary, the Muggle and wizarding worlds seem to merge. It’s hard to discern the magic (of Pomona’s quirkiness and creativity) from the reality (of homework and tests). While Pomona College is an academically rigorous institution that constantly challenges students to grow, Pomona is also an institution that loves to celebrate its students. Whether you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise or not, entering Frary and seeing the effort that our dining hall staff put into lifting the morale of students is touching. I was able to forget the countless pages of reading I had to do and watch a childhood dream come to life.
The assortment of Harry Potter-themed desserts and meals left me and many others with childlike enthusiasm. My friends and I laughed at how ridiculous we looked in our Harry Potter glasses sipping butter beer. Seeing other students enjoy their dinners and take photos of their “magical” experiences left me with a newfound appreciation for the Pomona community. Despite the busy schedules and the stress of midterms looming over our heads, we filled the tables of Frary, leaving the dining hall with laughter and a sense of community.