Ulysses: A Celebration of Irish Food

Ulysses: A Celebration of Irish Food

Every June 16th Dublin celebrates Bloomsday, a tribute to the literary genius of James Joyce and his modernist epic ‘Ulysses’. Ulysses is a ‘stream of consciousness’ odyssey that maps a day in the life of Dubliners at the turn of the century. Named after the novel’s central character Leopold Bloom, Bloomsday festivities take the form of readings, revelries, and re-enactments at various locations mentioned throughout the book. It is quite normal to see parades of parasols and boater bedecked booklovers celebrating in the streets with potatoes in their pockets.

Given that Ulysses has a rich language of food and flavour, and Leopold’s journeys and ruminations are punctuated by preparing and eating meals, it’s no surprise that food is a strong theme for Bloomsday festivities. In 1929 to mark its first publication in France ‘Dejeuner Ulysse’ was hosted at Leopold’s restaurant near Versailles. Recreating the meals of Ulysses remains a tradition. From Picnics of Gorgonzola & Burgundy, Banbury buns, and potted meats, to the notorious breakfast of fried kidneys, the epicurean oddities and delights are an integral part of the celebrations.

While many of the events will take place online again this year The Bloomsday Festival team are keeping the tradition of the Bloomsday Breakfast alive with a livestream from James Joyce Centre Facebook and via Youtube live at 8am on June 16th. The event will feature performances and songs from Ulysses with Elaine Reddy, Les Doherty, Darina Gallagher, and Sinead Murphy.

Bloomsday Festival is a celebration of Joyce and the city that inspired his works. It runs from June 11th -16th and features events at home in Dublin and as far afield as Latvia, Brazil & Australia.

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