Bloomsday celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses. The novel follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters from 8 am on 16 June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning.
Celebrations often include dressing up like characters from the book and in clothes that would have been the style of the era. One of the hallmark fancy dress items of Bloomsday is the straw boater hat. Celebrations come in many different forms like readings, performances and visiting the places and establishments referenced in the book.
Unfortunately due to Covid-19 most of this year’s activities will be online-based but nevertheless the same enjoyable events.
The Bloomsday Breakfast (Online)
James Joyce’s Ulysses features what we’ll wager is one of the most famous breakfasts in literature, the fried pork kidney enjoyed by Leopold Bloom in the Calypso episode of the novel. Over the years, the Bloomsday Breakfast has become one of the festival’s most established traditions and I’m are delighted they’ve kept it alive with the help of Dublin – UNESCO City of Literature.
So take a leaf out of Bloom’s book and enjoy a hearty meal before setting out on your virtual travels this Bloomsday. With performances and songs from Ulysses with Sinead Murphy, Darina Gallagher, Les Doherty, and Elaine Reddy
Word Up Collective (Online)
Originally commissioned for this year’s Music Town festival, Ulysses 2021 uses the mediums of spoken word, music, and videography to tell a story of the twenty-first century Dublin. Filmed in the beautiful setting of the Museum Of Literature Ireland, the event brings together a selection of Word Up artists – Tebi Rex, Natalya O’Flaherty, Daire Patel, Sasha Terfous – to interweave narratives and repaint the city’s occupants for the modern age, as James Joyce did in his day. You can watch here.
Lucia: Elements of an Artist (Short Film)
This nine-minute award-winning experimental art-authored film by Joyce Garvey and performed by Frances Mezzetti with Voices by Sharon Hogan links the struggle of James Joyce’s daughter, Lucia Joyce, with the artists’ struggle with identity within the natural elements of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. Make sure to check out Joyce Garvey’s youtube channel for more.
Painting Exhibitions of Joyce’s Dublin Homes (In Person)
A selection of Hulgraine’s paintings of these houses have been enlarged for display in Moran Park from 10th June and the exhibition will be officially launched on Bloomsday, Wednesday 16th June.
Dun Laoire Rathdown Libraries have partnered with the Friends of Joyce Tower Society to present an exhibition of paintings by Charles Hulgraine depicting the many Dublin houses inhabited by the Joyce family. The exhibition will be on display on Level 3 dlr LexIcon until July 31st where copies of Vivien Igoe’s publication James Joyce’s Dublin Houses will also be available.
A selection of Hulgraine’s paintings of these houses have been enlarged for display in Moran Park, in front of the Lexicon, from June 10th and the exhibition will be officially launched on Bloomsday, Wednesday, June 16th.