Despite the near 100% literacy rates in Buentoille, the City’s residents still choose to celebrate this outdated festival, initially created by a conglomeration of unions (primarily the Union of Radical Firepersons and the Buentoilliçan Association of Haberdashery and Tailor’s Guilds) in an attempt to improve the lives of their workers.
The festival would have originally been a week long; the unions would hire out large civic buildings where they would teach their workers the basics of literacy, enabling them to enjoy and educate themselves. These services were widely enjoyed by a wide variety of residents. The festival was also looked at as an opportunity to increase the political consciousness of the Buentoillitant proletariat, but unfortunately the modern festival has all-but lost these connotations.
In its modern form the festival has morphed into a commercial event for book companies, especially those who publish children’s literature. Literature is a large force in the culture of Buentoille, and parents are anxious to ensure that their children are able to engage with it. A number of new releases and sales will happen today, and will be widely shared by the City’s media.
One of the few public gatherings today is a result of the idiosyncratic way in which Buentoilliçan schools test literacy; each child must read Interstitial Realities in one sitting from cover to cover. This is tested en masse today, as a kind of passing out ceremony from the first term of school. Buentoillitants start school proper usually long after they have learned to write, and the practice is treated as a benign (if often frustrating) archaic tradition, worthy of upholding to strengthen Buentoilliçan culture as a whole. As such, the seminal poetry collection by A.E. Millicent is much maligned and lauded in popular culture, and is often invoked as a shorthand for the extensive Buentoilliçan literary canon.
Other festivals happening today:
- Proctor Dandridge Memorial Spelling Bee
- Reinterpret the Dialectic!
- Barry Beveridge’s Big Birthday Bash