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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Nutty gizzards, free readings and bus tours: Here's your Bloomsday 2016 event guide

We look at the events celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses, running from today until Thursday.

EVERY YEAR FANS of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses gather in Dublin and around the world to celebrate Bloomsday.

16 June, the date the fictional events in Ulysses take place, is recognised with readings, performances and even Bloomsday Breakfasts.

The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the main character in Ulysses. The novel, often regarded as Joyce’s most important work, follows Bloom’s journey around Dublin.

City events 

The events in Dublin are centred around the places that Bloom visited – such as Glasnevin Cemetery, the Martello Tower in Sandycove and Sandymount Strand.

A full programme of Bloomsday Festival events is available online and there’s also a host of fringe happenings to enjoy.

Some of the events have already sold out – but here are our picks of events happening around Dublin, from today until Thursday.

16/6/2015 Bloomsday Celebrations Source: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Monday

Travel to locations associated with Joyce and his work, including his birthplace in Rathgar and the Martello Tower in Sandycove, in the comfort of a bus. The bus leaves the James Joyce Centre on North Great George’s Street at 10am. The tour will finish up at 4pm and costs €30.

Tuesday 

Strolling through Ulysses! starts at 7pm on Tuesday evening in the International Bar on Wicklow St. The audience are taken on a 70 minute journey through the novel. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Wednesday

Celebrate Joyce through the music that helped inspire his first novel. Tickets for the night of tunes in The Stag’s Head cost €12. Musicians Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy will also talk about the background of the songs.

Thursday 

Bloomsday itself…

16/6/2014. Bloomsday Celebrations Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Kick off your day

Breakfast is big on Bloomsday.

Based on the breakfast that Leopold Bloom ate on 16 June 1904, fans of the book can enjoy a traditional Irish fry-up, with optional gruesome extras: nutty gizzards, kidneys and sheep’s heart. The James Joyce Centre breakfast is currently sold out, but who knows, maybe some tickets will become available this week?

Howth RNLI are also hosting a Bloomsday Breakfast, with prosecco and gorgonzola at 11am at Howth Yacht Club and tickets cost €30.

There will be other Bloomsday Breakfasts happening in different locations around town too.

Bus it 

If you want to get away from the city, a coach will once again be bringing people from the James Joyce Centre at 10am to the Martello Tower at Sandycove and Sandymount Village. The bus will return to the city by 3pm.

City Sightseeing Dublin will run two free Bloomsday bus tours. The buses will depart from Hugh Lane Gallery at 10.30am and 12.30pm. Tickets must be booked in advance online.

Glasnevin Cemetery

13/8/2014. Glasnevin Cemeteries Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Glasnevin Cemetery will be hosting a series of events to mark the day. There will be Joycean breakfast and lunch in the cemetery’s Tower Café from 10am to 3pm. At 11.30am, there will be a re-enactment of Paddy Dignam’s funeral procession from the ‘Hades’ section of Ulysses.

At 12.15pm, there will be a Joycean tour of Glasnevin Cemetery. Booking is essential, we’re told.

Readings

16/6/2015 Bloomsday Celebrations Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Bloomsday readings will start at 3pm in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar. This event is free and no booking is required. The event will include songs, readings and performances. RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley will lead the readings, alongside the likes of Bloomsday stalwart David Norris, and Colm O’Gorman.

Read: Read 90 letters James Joyce wrote to his family

Read: David Norris: The most common advice about reading Ulysses is ‘absolute rubbish’

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Roisin Nestor

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