In both Dublin and around the world, fans of James Joyce celebrate the June 16th as Bloomsday. It commemorates the life and work of James Joyce.
This is the day that is depicted in Joyce’s novel Ulysses and is named after the main protagonist of, Leopold Bloom. The novel takes place in Dublin on Thursday 16th June 1904 and follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters from 8am to the early hours of the following morning.
In 1954, on the 50th anniversary of Ulysses, John Ryan and Brian O’Nolan organized a day long trip of the route taken in Ulysses. Anthony Cronin, Patrick Kavanagh, Tom Joyce and AJ Leventhal joined them and together the party started off. Half way through, the excursion was over as the participants succumbed to intoxication in the Bailey pub. Thus the first Bloomsday was a success.
In Dublin, you will find many events and people celebrating Bloomsday.
One thing that is observed on this day is people dress up in Edwardian clothing which was the style in Ulysses. The straw boater hat and black bowler hat is a hallmark item that is worn on the day. It is a sight to see hundreds of people in Edwardian garb around Dublin
Some people eat the same food that was eaten by Leopold Bloom in Ulysses such as a full Irish breakfast with liver and kidneys and bacon sandwiches with honey to name a few.
Readings of Ulysses are held throughout Dublin with some hard-core fans holding reading marathons of the novel.
You can find an abundance of walking tours around Dublin. Follow a guide as he/she leads you through some of the key locations in Ulysses or depending on which tour Joyce’s life.
Pub crawls are a common sight whether its Bloomsday day or not however seeing people in Edwardian garb staggering from one pub to the next is something most people should see.
James Joyce Centre
The Bloomsday Festival is hosted and run by the James Joyce Centre in North Great Georges St Dublin and takes place every year since 1994. This year it runs from the 11th – 16th June. Many of the events that have been mentioned above are organised by the James Joyce Centre and a link below will let you see a programme for their activities.
Earlier this year the James Joyce House announced that a new limited premium Irish whiskey was going to be released into the market. This whiskey pays respect to the iconic house in which Joyce’s “The Dead” is set, No. 15 Ushers Island, Dublin 8. It is available only through the Irish Whiskey Shop and is going for €250.
For a more detailed review of the whiskey, check out Matt Healy’s blog.
If you’re in Dublin celebrating Bloomsday like the rest of us, pop into the Irish Whiskey Museum to say hello. Enjoy an Irish coffee or go on a tour. Have a look at our whiskey collection and memorabilia. We’re even keeping it in theme with Bloomsday as the Irish Whiskey Museum is housed in an Edwardian building.
Whatever you choose to do we hope you have a fantastic time.