September 4th – The Festival of Shifting the Hangover

In Buentoille you’ll find as many hangover cures as there are trees in the parks, which is to say (for those unfamiliar with the Buentoilliçan recreational estates) a great deal. Generally, however, these cures can be divided based on location: in the west of the City hangovers are banished via the consumption of some kind of food or drink, whereas in the east cures are based around some form of activity or medicinal preparation. This is a rough division, to be sure, and doesn’t always hold true; there is, for example, the Revolved Runners Society, a group of hungover western Buentoillitants who run for thirty miles and then have a very hot salt bath together in Dimitri’s Park of Bathing.

The bathing, without the running, is actually a popular cure in the east, where the Park of Bathing is located. Various mineral preparations are favoured by different individuals and groups, with magnesium salts being particularly favoured. The Servants of Caul, who only drink fresh spring water from their holy well located in Jutêgarde Parish, will prepare baths in the park for a fee, scrubbing down the marble basins between each user, providing the salts and carting the water. Many will also take advantage of the ‘tribulations’ offered by the Servants, where they are soundly beaten with camphor laurel branches in one of the Park’s many sauna houses, before then being lifted and tossed into a deep cold pool. It is apparently an extremely unpleasant experience, but afterwards leaves the tribulatee feeling so relieved it is finished that they forget they are hung over.

Exercise is, however, also a large part of eastern cures, although usually the methods are a little more gentle than a thirty mile run. The Tree of Regret is a popular hangout today, hangout being a literal term here, as once the Buentoillitants have climbed the tree, a gargantuan oak which has many horizontal branches, they hang upside down and perform inverted pull-ups. Quite when or why this tradition started is unclear, but it could be something to do with the mythical Venerik Monks, as great gouts of incense smoke are wafted towards the hanging people. The use of incense during exercise was apparently a central element of worship for the Veneriks, who believed that there was a small godly being within them which gave them life. The being was apparently agitated (and could therefore be located) by exercise and the smoke of special incenses. Those ‘hanging out’ their hangover today claim that the exercise pushes any toxins away from their stomachs, and out of their pores, were the smoke neutralises them.

In the west the most likely place you will find the hung over is drinking coffee and various herbal remedies in the many open-air cafes that line the streets. Some of the western herbal remedies are purgatives, such as winterberry tea, which results in five minutes of sudden vomiting and then three hours of a euphoric, floaty sensation, but it is considered poor form to drink these in public. More acceptable herbal remedies include sweet golden love, an infusion made from honey, lemon and the leaves of the littlehammer plant, which have a pleasant peppery taste and an analgesic effect.

Other Buentoillitants are suspicious of these cures, favouring instead a hearty breakfast of fried goods, in the hope that the fat and carbohydrate will ‘soak up’ the excessive intoxicants. This is actually a popular cure in both the west and the east, although in the east fried meats and eggs are unlikely to be on the menu. Pastries, especially those filled with pistachios and pecans, are a popular morning snack whilst nursing a coffee at one of the open-air cafes in the west, as are hearty potato soups. Ettienne’s Cafe is famous for its ‘garlic stoop’ which according to some patrons has panaceaic qualities, and is sure to straighten you out in no time at all. Cucumber drinks and salads are also on the menu in pretty much all eating places for those of more delicate sensibilities.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of the Wishing Well
  • The Festival of Blessings and Tinctures Half Price at the Homertine Temple
  • The Festival of Silence