There is no central festival today, but a multitude of small celebrations across the City, in different places for different reasons. Today is the 100th day of the year, a day that holds a certain significance to many folks; it is a holy day, a symbolic day.
The most popular tradition associated with the 10th of April is marriage: today more than any other day of the year has the highest number of marriages performed, and bells will ring out from the churches and through the streets constantly until the sun sets. This is partly because the number 100 symbolises wholeness, but also because it is hoped that the happy couple will stay together for 100 days. Blossom from the City’s many trees is gathered in preparation for today, when it will be thrown over couples as they travel across the City, by passers-by and wedding attendees both. This all contributes to a carnival atmosphere across the City today, especially if the weather is any good.
There are two main forms of marriage that can be observed across the City today; those carried out within a church, officiated by religious officials from the Chastise Church and other religious institutions, and river marriages, where a selection of rafts are floated down the Moway with the wedding congregated onboard, which have no officiation (there is no distinction in Buentoilliçan law between married and unmarried folks).
A river marriage is a very ancient tradition, although there is some argument over whether it was invented by the ‘eastern’ Escotolatian tribes or ‘western’ Ancient Helicans. Unlike the City’s other marriage traditions, which are closely replicated elsewhere, river marriages seem to be innately to Buentoilliçan. The river flows slowly, and it takes about half a day for the raft to travel from one end of the City into the bay, the guests and couple revelling as they go. When the raft passes into the bay, the couple are considered married, and they are are encouraged to swim ashore together, before a tug boat pulls the raft back to the docks, where celebrations often continue. Today the river will be full with rafts, to the extent that you can easily step between several different weddings with ease.
In smaller groups and communities across Buentoille, today is seen as auspicious for other reasons. The Doughty Covenant of Goodly Witches considers today the ideal day to prepare beneficial spells and potions, on account of the number 100 being considered whole and pure. The Good Witch Melpha was a great proponent of this consideration, and particularly encouraged the use of blossom and moon slivers, especially on years like this one where the full moon falls on or very close to the 10th of April. The Pickler’s Club also holds a tasting ceremony today, eating pickled eggs and cabbage that were placed in their respective vinegar and brine on the first day of the year; 100 days is thought to be the ideal maturation time.
One group for whom today is particularly holy are the Unforgetting Sect, a cult-like offshoot of the Chastise Church, who celebrate today as the final day of the year. According to these pious Buentoillitants, the years were originally only 100 days long until a group of people the Waylayer had tricked into believing that it was their god had asked it to grant them more time in this world. The Waylayer responded by lengthening the year to 365 days, which the people were very happy with until they realised that it didn’t mean they would live any longer.
The Unforgetting Sect live by their 100 day calendar, refusing to accept this trickery, living life as it ‘ought to be lived.’ However, to make things easier for themselves in a City so obsessed with the Celestial Calendar (i.e. the 365 day year), a City that assigns meaning to each and every one of its days, they decided at some point in the seventeenth century that every fourth year should be only 65 days long.
Other festivals happening today:
- The House of Night’s Day of Awakening
- The Swallow Soars – An Ornithological Festival
- The Eternal Harbinger’s Rest Day