Why It’s Bloomsday (And How You Can Celebrate)

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Geray Sweeney/CORBIS

The fan-created holiday, observed June 16, is a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Bloomsday is named for Leopold Bloom, the protagonist in Joyce’s classic novel. Created in 1954, devotees of Ulysses chose June 16 as the date of observance because the events in the novel all unfold on that date in 1904.

How can you celebrate? The best celebrations are in Joyce’s home country of Ireland, where Bloomsday is observed with a breakfast, pub crawls and tours retracing Bloom’s journey through Dublin in the novel. But Bloomsday is a global holiday, with events planned in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

The homebound (and adventurous) might attempt a marathon reading of the novel. Need the text? Download a free copy via Project Gutenberg.

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