16th has been celebrated around the world since James Joyce's Ulysses,
the world's most highly acclaimed modern novel, was first published in
1922. Ulysses is a hugely satisfying book because it embraces all of
life and the complexity of life as experienced by everyone. "Bloomsday",
as it is now known, is a literary party that celebrates the day in 1904
on which Ulysses is set and the principal characters Leopold Bloom and
Stephen Dedalus took their epic journeys through Dublin, Ireland. June
16th has become a traditional celebration for Joyce enthusiasts all over
the world. For Joyce, the special significance of 16 June 1904 was that
on that date he and his future wife Nora Barnacle had their first
rendezvous. In many cities, attempts are made to read the entire book
out loud. In Dublin, tourists dress up and retrace the routes of Joyce's
characters. The celebrations and festivities also include staged
re-enactments and street-side improvisations of scenes from the story.
Everywhere, alcohol is consumed in quantity.