(12–18 June) celebrates James Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses
and the city and people of Dublin where it was set. The novel follows the footsteps of its main character, Leopold Bloom, around Dublin on Thursday 16 June 1904, and for over 70 years Dublin has marked 16 June as Bloomsday. Now the day has grown into a wider festival with an extensive multi-day programme.
With street performances, lectures, theatre, music, readings, workshops, walking tours, and food and drink events, the festival
brings to life the characters and places made famous in the book.
These include Sweny’s Chemist on Lincoln Place, Glasnevin Cemetery, and Davy Byrne’s Pub on Duke Street, as well as the James Joyce Martello Tower in Sandycove along the coast of south County Dublin. The tower, which features at the start of Ulysses
, houses a museum containing letters, photographs and some of the author's personal possessions.
Dressing up in Edwardian garb is a great way to get into the spirit of the day as is enjoying Bloom’s favourite lunch of a gorgonzola sandwich and glass of burgundy.
And it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the book, you will still enjoy the atmosphere and merriment across the city.
This year’s festival includes a comic adaptation of the novel, Blooming Ulysses,
and a daring theatrical journey into the mind and heart of James Joyce’s most sensual hero, Molly Bloom, in Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
There will be music performances by Irish folk music act Hibsen and A Celebration of Love: Joycean Poetry & Songs
will take place in St Andrew’s church. In a unique event, the bellringers of Christ Church will ring the actual bells that feature in Ulysses.
Walking tours will introduce James Joyce’s Dublin and follow the path of Leopold Bloom.
On 15 and 16 June there will be special events at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre
including performances of extracts from the book and guided walks.
And as well as the organised events, there will be impromptu readings in pubs, cafes and even on the streets of the city, as locals and visitors alike create their own Bloomsday memories.
The James Joyce Centre has been the organiser of the Bloomsday Festival since 1994. The centre is open year-round providing exhibitions, courses, lectures and literary walking tours of Dublin.
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and there is much to explore in the city that celebrates its writers old and new. During your Bloomsday visit, make sure to visit the Museum of Literature Ireland
(MOLI) to view exhibitions, audio-visual presentations and view literary gems including ‘Copy No. 1’ of Ulysses
And you can visit the man himself at the National Gallery
where a number of portraits of him hang and where special tours, talks and a film are planned for Bloomsday.
Alternatively head for the James Joyce statue
on North Earl Street and use your mobile phone to hear the statue “talk”.