Declare a literary holiday!

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Five women walk along Sandycove in period dress in Dublin, Ireland, during Bloomsday 2004 (John Cogill/Associated Press)

Each Saturday, June 16, fans of Irish writer James Joyce celebrate the journey of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist from his classic novel Ulysses, in events around the world. If you see a few gentleman wearing Edwardian-era top hats or some corset-clad ladies with parasols heading to an Irish pub, don't be alarmed: they're probably just paying homage to Bloom's legendary stroll through early 20th-century Dublin.

But this got the CBC Books team thinking. If Bloom gets a special day, why can't other iconic literary characters? We've put together some suggestions below, including what kind of activities would be appropriate. Tell us your literary holiday proposal in the comments section below. Submit your idea by midnight Sunday, June 24, for a chance to win one of three prize packages of books.

Ishmael Appreciation Day (Moby Dick)

moby-dick.jpgCelebrate the lone survivor of Herman Melville's epic classic Moby Dick with a waterfront festival. People could participate in workshops on net-making, harpooning or sushi-rolling, and re-create the voyage of the Pequod on pedal boats. An important feature would be a panel discussion, moderated by Jean-Michel Cousteau, about living in harmony with aquatic creatures and coping with "sea rage."

Jay Gatsby Day (The Great Gatsby)

gatsby-party.jpgThis party isn't too complex to pull off...if you're richer than a movie star. Rent a giant mansion, hire a jazz band and instruct your hundreds of guests to dress like it's the Prohibition era all over again. A more low-budget activity on Great Gatsby Day would be to rent HBO's Boardwalk Empire, make up a batch of gimlets (preferably with gin distilled in a bathtub, for authenticity) and wax poetic about the decline of the American Dream.

Marian McAlpin Day (The Edible Woman)

edible-woman.jpgIt's a tasty, food-oriented holiday all about the rejection of traditional gender roles and metaphorical cannibalism! To pay homage to Margaret Atwood's first novel, bake a cake resembling yourself and then offer it to someone in your life who is stifling your emotional independence and identity. Or you can share it with a close chum!


Eric Packer Day (Cosmopolis)

eric-packer.jpgHere's how to celebrate Don DeLillo's study of avarice and self-destruction in style. First, dress like you're a billionaire financial whiz like main character Eric Packer. Then book a hair appointment across town at a barber, but rent a snazzy stretch limo to get you there. Hopefully you'll come across a parade or a protest, forcing you to go as slowly as possible and opening up your day for chance encounters with friends and strangers in your mobile home for the day.

What are your literary holiday suggestions?