You either love it or you don’t care at all about Bloomsday, there seems to be nothing in between. It is a HUGE day for some and others don’t even know what it is about. If you belong to the latter group, let me help you a bit.
Bloomsday is a made up day and nothing of it is based on real events. James Joyce wrote the book Ulysses between 1914 and 1922 and the book describes one day, Thursday 16 June 1904 when Leopold Bloom, a fictional figure in the book, went about his business from 08:00 to the early hours of the next day. This invented day, lived by an invented person became Bloomsday.
You could compare it to McClane Day! Which doesn’t exist!!! But would be the day just before Christmas when we copy all the things that John McClane did in Die Hard. We go to Nakatomi Plaza for a Christmas Party, have a disagreement in the toilet and then spend the rest of the day to fight against Max Gruber and some terrorists/thieves with all sorts of weapons. So if McClane Day makes sense to you, then Bloomsday will also make sense.
The James Joyce fans dress up like characters from the book in clothes that were worn by people around 1904, then they have a breakfast like Leopold Bloom and visit the locations he went to during the day.
Does that help a bit? If not, get a better description here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsday :-)
I think we should plan for McClane Day! We just have about 6 months to prepare for it! :-O
Junior Minister Michael Ring (Tourism & Sport) has announced which festivals will get funding from Failte Ireland this year and there are some oddities among them. In total 23 national festivals and events are getting 1.8mio in 2016, but some should get (a lot) less and others should get more. Have a look at the list here, before you continue reading so that you can form your own opinion first.
One single festival takes the majority of money and really just leaves crumbs for the rest: The St. Patrick’s Festival sucks up a whole 1 mio and I really don’t think it is worth that amount. While the parade has significantly improved from the parades 10 or 20 years ago, it has come to a standstill for many years now. There is no more improvement and year after year, the same formula with just slight alterations will be applied. The festival route is still too short for the amount of people that would like to see something and are left bitterly disappointed and the festival would definitely benefit from an overhaul. Sure, there are still up to approximately 300,000 people on the streets for it (don’t believe the 500k lie!!) but in terms of cultural value, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival is definitely not the top event!
And a little further down the list, there are these four:
Ireland BikeFest EUR 30,000
Bloomsday EUR 25,000
City Spectacular EUR 25,000
Rock n Roll, Dublin Half Marathon EUR 20,000
The Bikefest hasn’t really impressed in recent years and 30k seems relatively high for that, where the Bloomsday uses up 25k is difficult to see and that the 100% commercial Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon gets ANY funding is extremely surprising. But the City Spectacular on the other hand, which is one of the, if not THE best event in Dublin only gets 25k!? That’s odd!! They deserve a LOT more!