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Celebrating Ulysses – Bloomsday Festival is Back From June 11th to 16th!

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The James Joyce Centre is delighted to be celebrating Bloomsday 2024 from June 11th-16th, with a programme of over 100 events in Dublin, plenty more around Ireland, and even some around the globe!

Bloomsday always celebrates the date on which James Joyce’s Ulysses was set – the 16th of June, while events run throughout the whole week. This year also marks the 120th anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s adventures, and you’ll be sure to have your own with this fantastic lineup!

Ulysses

Ulysses was first published in 1922 and it has since been hailed as one of the most important works of literature in history. The novel follows Leopold Bloom as he walks the streets of Dublin, mapped in incredible detail, as he seeks to avoid going home to his wife, Molly Bloom. It is a story that crystalises Dublin and presents it to the world in true detail, no mean feat considering Joyce wrote the book while in exile (Joyce seldom returned to Ireland after leaving in 1904, and never returned after 1912).

Exploring the deepest dreams and darkest fears of Leopold Bloom, Ulysses is a book that explores how it is to be human.

Bloomsday Festival

This year the James Joyce Centre is returning with Bloomsday Festival, the favourite holiday of all Joyceans. It is one of Dublin’s biggest festivals, with over one hundred events around the city (and many more around the country). Given the scope and focus on a particular novel and city, it is an unparalleled cultural event.

Each year the day begins with the famous Bloomsday Breakfast, this year hosted at Belvedere College. Throughout the city there are recreations of different scenes of Ulysses. At 8am at the James Joyce Tower, there is a reading of the opening chapter of Ulysses, Telemachus, followed later in the day by Molly Bloom’s closing soliloquy.

Anyone hungry can stop by Davy Byrne’s pub (frequented by Leopold Bloom himself) around lunchtime for the now famous gorgonzola sandwiches and a glass of burgundy. At Glasnevin Cemetery there is a recreation of the funeral of Paddy Dignam.

For those looking to become more acquainted with the great novel, there are many different walking tours around the city on the day. The James Joyce Centre conducts two tours, Introducing Joyce’s Dublin and Footsteps of Leopold Bloom. There are further tours of the Monto (famous Edwardian red light district) and the south inner city.

For more information on these tours, visit Bloomsdayfestival.ie.

Finally, Bloomsday is a day when the city fills with music and performances. There are theatrical adaptions of scenes from Ulysses at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dalkey Castle and the James Joyce Centre, as well as community events organised locally in Rathgar, Ringsend, Blackrock and Drumcondra. There are more than 100 events throughout Dublin during the Festival, with hundreds more located globally and around Ireland.

For a full list of global events, visit bloomsdayfestival.ie/global, and to find what events are coming up at the James Joyce Centre, see bloomsdayfestival.ie/programme for more information.

The Programme

Did you think that was all? The programme for Bloomsday doesn’t stop there, in fact, it goes way beyond. The Festival is packed full of unique performances, writing competitions and art exhibitions, as well as tours of historical sites and, most importantly, plenty of parties celebrating James Joyce and Ulysses.

The full Bloomsday Festival programme can be accessed at bloomsdayfestival.ie.

Pricing

Most activities at Bloomsday are free, but certain exhibitions and events require a small entrance fee, usually below €10. You can find events at bloomsdayfestival.ie/programme, and click ‘find out more’ to see access requirements.

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Julia Labedz
Julia Labedz
Julia has several years of experience as a writer and editor, working with independent clients as well as larger organizations. Prior to working for ITTN she was a marketing executive. She has both a BA and MFA in English with Creative Writing, with an extensive professional and creative portfolio. In her free time, Julia works on her novel.

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