a holiday in memory of a remarkable novel
Bloomsday is a day of remembrance in honor of the novel “Ulysses” by the legendary Irish author James Joyce. It is celebrated annually on June 16. The name of this festive day was derived from the main character of the work, Leopold Bloom. The novel “Ulysses” is considered to be one of the most influential and popular literary works of all time. In 18 episodes, the work of James Joyce describes a single day of the protagonist Leopold Bloom in Dublin. As a milestone, this work has shaped the genre of the modern novel to a particularly large extent. Although this holiday is not officially recognized in Ireland, it can now be found more often in the country’s calendars. There is no other public holiday in the world that is based on a novel.
A popular date for fans – detailed city tours with a musical note
Bloomsday is a very attractive date for tourists from all over the world, and many people travel to the Irish capital Dublin every year to attend the celebrations. Due to its relevance to literary studies, study trips are also often offered for Bloomsday. The novel is fictional, but contains real locations in Dublin, which is why hikes through Dublin are often undertaken on Bloomsday, which show the places described in the novel. As a participant in such a tour, you will usually see numerous bars, pubs, hotels, cemeteries or towers. Music and drinks in the restaurants are always part of the standard program. Since various well-known, traditional folk songs from Ireland appear in the novel, these pieces are particularly popular on Bloomsday. Remarkably, that you can even find bronze plaques on the streets of Dublin, which provide information about the known locations. Traditionally, the hike starts on Bloomsday in “Eccles Street”, at house number seven. Here you can find the home of the protagonist Leopold Bloom in the novel.
Wexford Opera Festival
The Wexford Opera Festival: cultural delicacies on the edge of Europe
In the south-east Irish coastal town of Wexford, the opera festival has been held every October since 1951 and is considered a musical treat for friends of study trips. The focus is on the performances of rarely shown works according to the motto: We don’t play what people like, but what they might like. Every year three productions are presented: one “for the heart”, one “for the mind” and one “for pleasure”. The location of this opera house is as extraordinary as the repertoire. Wexford is remote at the mouth of the River Slainey and has a population of just 20,000. The Irish capital, Dublin, is a two-hour drive away. During the two weeks of the festival, artists, residents and the numerous visitors from near and far form a strangely conspiratorial community. which one enthusiastic participant described as “the world’s best children’s party for adults”. In Wexford, young, as yet unknown talents celebrated their first triumphs, including today’s world star Juan Diego Flórez.
Architectural masterpiece: the new opera house
Since 2008 the festival has been taking place in a newly built, elegant opera house in the heart of the small fishing village. The designers received numerous international architecture prizes, including for the successful embedding of the house in the structure of the city. The large, horseshoe-shaped main auditorium is clad in Canadian walnut and offers space for 780 visitors on light blue leather. From Wexford, short trips to the surrounding area are worthwhile, for example to the city of Kilkenny with its impressive medieval walls. Beer drinkers enjoy the famous Kilkenny Irish Lager here.
St. Patrick’s Day
In a way, Saint Patrick’s Day is in Ireland what Oktoberfest is in Munich – an enormous festivity (usually associated with an enormous amount of beer). Just as Oktoberfest is now celebrated in many parts of the world, so is Saint Patrick’s Day. But let’s look at Ireland and the origins of the celebrations.
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated across Ireland on March 17th each year in honor of the Irish national saint, Saint Patrick. He is considered Ireland’s first Christian missionary and the country’s patron saint – the day is a public holiday in Ireland too. The symbols of the day are the color green and the shamrock, which the saint is said to have used to explain the holy trinity (God the Father – Son – Holy Spirit) to the Irish pagans.
How do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day today?
If you want to witness this event as a tourist, you should visit Dublin, where the largest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the country (with over a million visitors) takes place. Celebrations on this day are a tradition in Ireland and are held in other cities as well. There is usually a colorful parade (in Dublin), concerts, theater performances and fireworks at the end of the festival, which lasts between three and five days.
The streets are littered with green pennants or the color green in general and you can see thousands of people in splendid disguises. However, you should plan your trip early – the prices for accommodation etc. are higher than usual over Saint Patrick’s Day, which is why a comparison of travel and accommodation options seems advisable. Or you can book a study trip through a reputable provider.
If you are looking for really happy festivities, you will enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day – and also those who want to learn something about Irish nature, food, culture and the joy of drinking.