January 1st – Catrosondia Day

Catrosondia day is a reserved and humble affair for the City’s Catrosondian population. Mostly it is a time of contemplation for the homeland they lost in the Great Flood of 2001/2002, when in the midst of new-year celebrations their small island began to sink beneath the waves.

The cause of the sinking is still unknown, and this has been a source of great dispute and unease for the Catrosondian people; the remains of many families have been split by religious and political divisions as a result of their theories about the Flood. Many new groups have been set up in the wake of the disaster: some scientific, raising money and lobbying for research into the cause of the sinking; some political looking to integrate themselves further into BuentoilliƧan culture; others religious, looking on the Flood as the act of an angry god, or even believing the island will raise from the sea anew, washed clean of sin.

Because of it’s proximity, tolerance and respect for tradition, Buentoille now houses almost the entirety of the Catrosondian diaspora. Whilst they are generally welcomed, some hard-right BuentoilliƧan groups regularly express concern over the large number of (now settled) foreigners through demonstrations, lobbying, media and violence. As such there has been some hostility to the introduction of the festival in the past, but most are in favour of commemorating the terrible event which led to the death of nearly a million people.

For most Catrosondian’s the day is spent in quiet contemplation with their families, eating nothing but lehavas nuts (a buoyant nut which was the only food available to those refugees who sheltered on the nearby crags until help arrived). In the evening they gather at the Memorial by Saint Fibrass’ Dock and submerge themselves in the freezing water.

There are no other festivals today.