Dublin’s literary street carnival celebrating James Joyce’s iconic novel Ulysses.

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Ireland has a vibrant tradition of literature and story-telling. From the mythical poetry of W.B. Yeats to the witty plays of Oscar Wilde, and the gritty writing of Brendan Behan, Irish writers are world famous. Many of these writers have been inspired by Dublin, but none more so than the author James Joyce, who is known for capturing the city’s characters and stories. Every year in June, the Bloomsday Festival takes over the fair city of Dublin with a colourful celebration of Joyce’s iconic novel Ulysses.

When I die Dublin will be written in my heart - James Joyce

Each year visitors make a pilgrimage to Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, to experience this literary street carnival from as far afield as Brazil, Australia, and the United States of America. During the Bloomsday Festival (11 - 16 June), locals and visitors alike immerse themselves by dressing up like the characters, eating food mentioned in the book, visiting the authentic locations where the novel takes place, and re-enacting scenes from the text. It’s a wonderful way to get under the skin of the city and explore the sights and sounds of Ireland past and present through the eyes of one of her beloved writers.

The Bloomsday Festival is an annual celebration of James Joyce’s modernist epic Ulysses, the events of which take place in Dublin on 16 June 1904. The name is inspired by the main character Leopold Bloom. The first Bloomsday in Dublin took place in 1954 and was organised by a group of literary and cultural figures including Patrick Kavanagh, Brian O’Nolan, John Ryan and Anthony Cronin. The Bloomsday Festival has developed into a colourful and diverse celebration of Joyce and Ulysses. This world famous literary street carnival typically takes place from 11-16 June in Dublin, the heart of the Hibernian metropolis, the city that inspired Joyce and his major works.

People celebrate Bloomsday by dressing in the fashion of the period, eating food mentioned  in the book, visiting the locations where the novel takes place and performing readings from the text. Festival events range from lectures, readings, workshops and walking tours to Bloomsday Breakfasts, theatre, music and pub crawls. Traditional Bloomsday must-sees are the James Joyce Centre on North Great George’s Street, the James Joyce Martello Tower in Sandycove, Sweny’s Chemist on Lincoln Place, Glasnevin Cemetery and Davy Byrne’s Pub on Duke Street.

If you want more information on events and ticket sales, subscribe to our newsletter on jamesjoyce.ie or follow Bloomsday Festival on social media.

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Marty GilroyNews, Blog