Perhaps June 16th snuck up on you. You have been going about your day unaware…but you notice something is definitely…off. It seems that wherever you go, people are bellowing what appears to be stream-of-consciousness ranting, slapping one another on the back, and usually hoisting a Guinness aloft. Well, at least that’s what happens to ME on June 16th. Then I remember. Of course! It’s Bloomsday.
Bloomsday, a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce, has been observed every year on this date since 1954. The name comes from Joyce’s character, Leopold Bloom, in his novel Ulysses. The date is in commemoration of Joyce’s first date with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. The two walked to the village of Ringsend in Dublin.
In Ireland, and in many other parts of the world, Bloomsday is celebrated by pub crawls. In the pubs, many revelers quote passages from Ulysses. Some participants even don full period costumes. Still others will hold entire readings of the work, which can (and have) lasted for nearly two days.
So… grab your copy of Ulysses, grab a pint, and meet yourself, for “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But we are always meeting ourselves.” After all, I hear you’re a pretty swell person.