What is "Bloomsday," and why does it take place on June 16, 1904?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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June 16, 1904, is "Bloomsday." All the events of James Joyce's (1882-1941) landmark novel Ulysses (1922) take  place on June 16, 1904, in Dublin. "Bloomsday" is derived from the name of the protagonist of the novel, Leopold Bloom. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Joyce's fans all over the world, especially in Dublin.

Thursday, June 16, 1904 was also the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid. They walked to the Dublin urban village of Ringsend. Joyce had met her on June 10th on Nassau Street.

"Bloomsday" was first celebrated in 1954. On "Bloomsday," a range of cultural activities--including sometimes a marathon reading of the entire novel--are organised by the fans of James Joyce.