What is Bloomsday?
Bloomsday celebrates Thursday 16th June 1904, the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. Bloomsday is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character throughout the novel which follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of various other characters, both real and fictional, from the morning of the 16th of June 1904, right through to the early hours of the following day.
Bloomsday celebrations often include dressing up like characters from the novel and in clothes that would have been era appropriate. One of the most iconic items of Bloomsday is the famous straw boater hat. To celebrate this day, many places around the country, especially Dublin, perform readings, performances and visit places mentioned in the book.
2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Ulysses being published and changing the literary world forever.
The History of Bloomsday
James Joyce started writing Ulysses in March 1914, but put it aside for many years to focus on other projects. The novel is often considered one of the most important works of literature, with the first Bloomsday celebration taking place in Ireland in 1954.
Irish writers, Patrick Kavanagh, and Flann O’Brien, visited several places mentioned in the novel – Martello towers at Sandycove, Davy Byrne’s pub and 7 Eccles place, reading parts of Ulysses and drinking as they went. Today, Bloomsday is celebrated by Joyceans across the globe with readings, performances, re-enactments, and a host of other events.
How can I celebrate Bloomsday in Dublin?