Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Rathgar's favourite son, James Joyce, who was born in Rathgar in 1882. During this yearly celebration the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere. Joyce chose the date as it was the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle; they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend. The first known celebration of Bloomsday in Ireland was in 1954, when writers Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien visited several locations from the novel, including 7 Eccles Street, Leopold Bloom’s home.
“The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring.”
On Bloomsday itself, Joyce fans dress in Edwardian costume to conjure up the atmosphere of the period in which Ulysses was set. Fans follow the route around Dublin taken by Bloom and usually have a breakfast of sausages, beans, black and white pudding and toast at some stage along the way. The James Joyce Centre on North Great Georges Street have scheduled a week of engaging and inspiring events, from staples like the traditional Bloomsday Breakfast and walking tours, to brand new theatre, live music, talks and other special events.