Bloomsday is observed annually on June 16 to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and commemorate the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The day is also a secular holiday in Ireland. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist in Ulysses, and June 16 was the date of Joyce’s first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend.
The event is commemorated with a range of cultural activities including academic conferences, Ulysses readings and dramatisations, pub crawls and general merriment. Enthusiasts may often dress in Edwardian costume to celebrate the Bloomsday.
The first celebration took place in 1954 and a major five-month-long festival (ReJoyce Dublin 2004) took place in Dublin between April 1 and August 31, 2004. On the Sunday prior to the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday in 2004, 10,000 people in Dublin were treated to a free open air breakfast on O’Connell Street consisting of sausages, rashers, and black and white puddings.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library, in Philadelphia, PA is the home of the handwritten manuscript of Ulysses and celebrates Bloomsday with a street festival including readings, Irish music, and traditional Irish food provided by local Irish-themed pubs.