Wednesday, 16 June 2010

On this day...

Dubliners gather to celebrate Bloomsday in celebration of author James Joyce. Derived from the name of 'Ulysses' protagonist Leopold Bloom, the date also orginates from the popular modernist novel. All the book's events take place within a single day, June 16th 1904, to commerate the author's first outing with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. First taking place in 1954 when a group of devotees attempted a pilgrimage along the novel's route, Bloomsday involves numerous 'Ulysses' based festivities.

Marathon readings, themed walks around the city and costume wearing all take place, as do, perhaps slightly less traditional pub crawls and all day eatings. Bloomsday is also celebrated in New York, Genoa, and Szombathely - a Hungarian town, which appears as the fictional birthplace of Leopold Bloom's father, Virag Rudolf. The literary significance of this day was not lost on poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, who, by special licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury, got married on June 16th in honour of Bloomsday.

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