January 25th – The Anniversary of the League of Disabled Buentoillitants’ Great Rent Strike

If you had passed a newsagent’s or street seller on January the 25th 1834, you would have seen an array of headlines proclaiming amazement, outrage, and righteous vindication at the news that the Holy Knights of Buentoille had finally agreed to cease their attacks on the ‘hospitals’ they formerly owned.

The Holy Knights of Buentoille were a military, religious and political organisation, attached to the Chastise Church, sworn to protect it’s pilgrims. They were also often referred to as ‘Hospitallers’ because of the numerous hospitals (in this case meaning a type of almshouse for the severely ill and disabled) they owned; an extension of their peacetime ‘protections’. Admission to the hospitals was initially restricted to those who could reasonably prove their devotion to the Church, but after an act of Parliament in 1667, they became opened to all, acting as the City’s official supported accommodation for the long-term ill and disabled. However, the Hospitallers still claimed the right to charge ‘reasonable rents’ to the inhabitants of the hospitals.

Many disabled and ill Buentoillitants were supported by their families, but this was obviously not an option for all. As such, many rooms lay empty; their intended inhabitants on the streets. When the Knights went to war with the City of Strigaxia in 1762, they raised rents to pay for it, and offered a number of beds to disabled persons who were able to work on creating armaments as payment for bed and board. Despite the success of the Knight’s military campaigns, and the vast wealth they received as a result, they did not lower rents when the war ended, and conditions began to deteriorate as well. The situation reached crisis point in 1832, when there were historically high debt levels within the hospitals, huge numbers of evictions, and allegations of slavery were being levelled at the Knights.

Unable to receive relief through the ‘proper’ political or legal means (the Knights were very influential in Parliament at the time), the inhabitants of the hospitals first turned to the established unions for help, but were initially refused. The League of Disabled Buentoillitants was formed later that year, and continues to this day, still retaining the various letters they received from unions, stating that it would harm their members prospects and image to be involved with a (as one letter put it) ‘bunch of cripples and lunatics’. They instigated a rent strike across the hospitals, sparking an, often violent, year long dispute.

It seems as if the Knight’s true mistake was to hugely underestimate the resourcefulness, resolve and capability of the League. Their initial response to the strike was to withdraw the care workers from the hospitals, and to restrict the deliveries of food; the League seemed to have organised so well that mass evictions would have left the hospitals all-but empty. However, many of the care workers had witnessed their own working conditions and pay decline, and almost 50% of them were persuaded to join the League as associated members. The League also seized huge amounts of food and goods from the Knight’s warehouses in night-time raids. The Knights then decided to forcibly restrain members of the League and regain control of their premises.

Once again, the League were one step ahead of the Knights. They had been manufacturing and stockpiling weaponry for some time, and had established barricades and underground routes between the various different hospitals. They had also integrated the hospitals in such a way that each was able to defend themselves, the members ‘buddying up’ to so that each partnership had a wide range of applicable abilities. Formerly evicted disabled and ill folks were invited to join and bolster the ranks of the League, and the first ‘security forces’ that the Knights sent in were easily ejected without casualties. Realising their error, the Knights returned with a much larger force, but this was to ultimately spell their downfall.

Various papers and rights groups had been invited to see the new commune the League had built, cannily in time for the first true skirmish of the dispute. Many were killed on both sides, and all was seen and documented by the observers, and splashed across the news the following day. The Knights attempted to present the skirmish as an attempt to quell a ‘tide of insanity that has sadly befallen the hospitals,’ but were unsuccessful in gaining the public’s support; by the time of the next skirmish, over ten thousand armed Buentoillitants came out in support of the League. The Knights attempted to regain their holdings in a few stealthy campaigns (learned from their military action abroad, no doubt) after this point, but due to a huge public outcry Parliament finally turned against them and ordered that they relinquish their claims to the hospitals. Shortly afterwards the Holy Knights of Buentoille were disbanded in Buentoille, though they only truly disappeared in 1989 when they finally lost their their Strigaxian holdings.

Today those League members and associated members who died in the defence of the hospitals are commemorated by hanging large banners bearing their faces out the windows of the hospitals. The League also hosts a feast, and weaponry is ceremonially laid against the various grave markers and memorials in the Peace Garden.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Start of the Pilgrimage into the East

January 24th – The Beginning of The Long Confinement

If you are lucky, today you might chance upon the Order of the Last Giant as they prepare for tonight’s Long Confinement; they are relatively easy to spot, given their tall wooden stilts and long gowns which graze the cobbled streets. The length of the stilts is indicative of status and piety within the Order, with more senior and more experienced members often standing level with second floor windows. Members are ‘graduated’ onto taller stilts once they exhibit the necessary dedication.

Today the Order will travel along specific routes through the City, praying at the Five Points of the giant they believe is buried beneath. They begin with each of the ‘feet’ (Trioli Hill and Twoshill’s Barrow), before moving on to each ‘hand’ (the open palm of Votive Park and the closed fist of Children’s Mound) and finally to the ‘head’ (Ranaclois Hill itself). At each point they will leave an offering at a small, unobtrusive shrine made from fossilised wood. Each shrine has a small terracotta roof over it, and in an indentation at the centre of each ‘stump’ the members of the Order leave an acorn.

The acorn is an important symbol within the Order. It is generally thought to symbolise that great things can grow from humble beginnings, but it also thought to be shorthand for wholesomeness and the Earth. In the Order’s iconography the pious dead are depicted wearing hats similar to a cupule (the ‘cap’ of an acorn). In contrast, those deemed destructive, misinterpretative or callous to the Order’s teachings are referred to as ‘galls’ (the structure formed around the larvae of a wasp when it secretes specific chemicals).

As the sun sets the Order descend into the Cranial Cavern, one of the many caves and excavations beneath Ranaclois Hill. It rests alongside the Hidden Library, but does not connect in any way. They will stay there for three weeks, concealed in complete darkness for the entirety of the Long Confinement. According to the pamphlets handed out by the Order, they try to lie as still as possible during this time, attempting to connect with the Giant, whose residual memories and thoughts still bounce around the space that was one it’s skull. Members describe extremely moving experiences and visions in the darkness, and the Order has a number of holy books wherein these are catalogued, from memories of a primordial age where wooden humans were capable of growing to immense heights, to prophetic visions of the Giant awaking and casting aside the City like an unwanted duvet.

Critics of the Order point out that hallucinations are a common response to sensory deprivation, and can be guided by expectation. Rumours have also arisen in previous years that during their sojourn in the Cavern, members are gradually stretched on racks, an a dangerous and misguided attempt to make them taller. The Order strongly refutes these claims.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of One Hundred Candles

  • The Festival of Significant Lines

  • Ester Esterdotter’s House of Lace Lace Making Festival

January 23rd – The Day of the Lowest Tide

Today the Yio Kalan Celestial Object (YKCO) will pass very close to the atmosphere of the Earth. This event occurs once every 23-25 years, when their orbits pass close enough for each object’s tidal force to interact with the other. Because the YKCO does not usually pass directly over (or antipodal to) the portion of Earth where the City is situated, it causes an exceptionally low tide. There have been two recorded occasions when YKCO did pass overhead; once in 1345 and once in 1746; when the Object passed in the earlier event, it ‘grazed’ the atmosphere, creating a huge fireball in the sky. This, combined with the enormous deluge that enveloped a large portion of the region, convinced many that it was the end of the world.

The tide will be lowest between 7:34 and 8:23 this evening, but the ocean will drop below the normal range from around 3:15pm until 12:30am. The Buentoille Bay will be all-but emptied for a lot of this time, leaving a large variety of stranded sea life. Many Buentoillitants are drawn to the rocks and sands of this strange new alien landscape, and it is an excellent opportunity for the City’s children to have a hands-on learning experience. Starfish are particularly populous in the Bay, and groups of children are led by volunteers from the environmental protection group Buentoillitant Lovers of Sea Life to collect up stranded starfish and other sea creatures, and deposit them back in the sea.

The receding ocean has given up many of the sea’s secrets in previous years. In 1970 a large, perfectly spherical stone was found on the edge of the Bay, but by 1993 it had disappeared. Various sunken longboats, rowing boats and other, more modern naval vessels have been found when the sea recedes, many of which are now housed in the Buentoilliçan Museum of Nautical History. Perhaps the most interesting find, though, is the sunken settlement out west along the bay, known commonly as Old Buentoille.

Old Buentoille is a palaeolithic settlement, thought to have been created during the last ice age. Back then, ice would have covered much of the Inner Sea for long enough for vegetation to form, making it all but indistinguishable from the surrounding land. As a result, many settlements were formed on the ice sheet which were later lost to the sea when the ice eventually melted. Old Buentoille consists of a scattering of wooden struts which would have once constituted a number of houses. A number of pots and stone tools have also been found in the surrounding environs, along with human and proto-human remains; Old Buentoille is perhaps most famous for this last point, as the Cult of Our Large-Handed Ancestors was formed around the discovery of these remains. Whilst diving expeditions have gathered a lot of information and finds from Old Buentoille, there is still considerable scientific interest in excavating more of the site today than is usually possible.

Because the YKCO orbits so closely to the Earth it is subject to extreme tidal forces (far more extreme than those which it exhibits on the Earth), and this, along with the various times it has entered the Earth’s atmosphere, means it is often subject to changes in its mass. As a consequence, the exact timing and trajectory of the Object is difficult to calculate, and there is always a small chance it could be tipped into a collision with the Earth, next time around.

Other festivals happening today:


  • The Buentoille Festival of Fine Wines

  • Dynamic Pens’ Day of Discounts

January 22nd – The Festival of Clock Smiths

At precisely midday today, as the bells ring out across Buentoille, the great red doors of Timphony Tower will open by themselves and from within a strange procession will spill onto the streets. Visitors to the city may have wondered why the tram tracks run all the way up to the tower’s doors, and today their questions will be answered.

There are no humans on the procession, but a large group of automata slowly whirr along the tramlines. There are around thirty automata on the procession, with designs ranging from a military commanders seated on her horse, to a skeletal boatman, to writhing dragons and upright bears. They form a motley crew that make their way about the city (all trams are diverted from their path) each following their own complex set of instructions. According to the Society of Automata Enthusiasts (SAE), every automata has 365 individual actions which they perform across their journey: they turn to each other and chat, point at the scenery or crowds and share a joke; they play solos with trumpets and guitars, or bang drums with gusto; they pause for a tea party, passing cutlery and jam between them.

Whilst each action has been extensively mapped by the SAE, there is usually some kind of change implemented each year, which is met with excited calls from the groups of enthusiasts surrounding the procession, making neat markings in squared paper notebooks. To a casual observer, it would seem as if the automata were actually alive. This year a new figure will join the procession, referred to only as The Creator. Its existence is only known ahead of time because a very drunk member of the Eternal Fraternity of The Designer (EFTD), the group who created this year’s addition, blurted it out at The Sheavewoman’s Arms last Wednesday.

The EFTD are an old sub-section of the Guild of Clock Smiths who became convinced that life, like clockwork, had been designed by a creator, rather than appearing spontaneously as the dogma of the Chastise Church states. They were initially persecuted for these beliefs (although the Church is much more tolerant nowadays), so met in secret, designing strange automata with which they intended to prove that the creation of life was a replicable event. The EFTD has been at the forefront of robotics and genetics for many years, and there are rumours that they still pursue their goal to create new life in their highly secretive labs within their compound in eastern Buentoille. Their addition to the procession today is thought to be a tribute to their history and beliefs, rather than part of this goal.

After covering much of the City, the procession will end at midnight, then the doors on the opposite side of the tower will close behind the automata, hiding them away for another year.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of Mittens and Oven Gloves

  • The Song of Angels Annual Competition

  • Hamich Isgil’s Playing Card Factory Tour Day

January 21st – The Festival of Waking the Lord

Tonight is a bad night to live near Pentwaithe Manor in western Buentoille, especially if you need to get some sleep. Tonight the inhabitants of Candlestein House, a sprawling apartment block a few streets away from the Manor, and many of their friends will troupe across to the crumbling ruin of the Manor, their arms laden with fireworks, pots, pans and noisy horns.

The festival started in the mid nineteenth century, when both the House and Manor were owned by Lord Pentwaithe, a wealthy industrialist from an aristocratic background who had an abnormal hatred of loud noise and a rather eccentric reputation, especially in relation to the occult.. At that time the House was built as habitation for the workers who laboured in the adjoining flax mill that used the Moway river to power the (extremely noisy) machinery. The mill ran throughout the day and night, so that those workers who were not currently labouring under the overwhelming noise were subjected to it whilst they tried to sleep.

The Manor, on the other hand, was a palatial construction, and Pentwaithe had hired an architectural acoustician at great expense to design the Manor and it’s environs in such a way as to eliminate any sound coming from the direction of the factory. However, they failed to account for the fact that Manor lay directly in the path of the workers’ (many of whom were essentially deaf) route home from the pub.

Pentwaithe tried a number of different approaches to the issue; he attempted to reprimand the workers who had disturbed his sleep, but with every person he punished, three others would yell and shout outside his house at night. He tried to soundproof his house, but unfortunately to little effect. He attempted to have the road closed off, but the local residents and workers simply tore down the obstructions he placed at night, very noisily. He even tried building another pub on the other side of the factory, but the workers never drank there. Eventually he was driven to do something very strange and stupid.

Workers began to report sightings of a ghost in the streets outside the Manor, a strange spindly white figure clad in wraithlike white robes, with horrible, skeletal hands holding a green oil lantern. As the sightings increased, fewer and fewer workers travelled past the Manor; there were rumours that perhaps the Lord had summoned some kind of terrible spectre with his occult dabblings. However, not all Buentoillitants are afraid of ghosts – a woman called Lily (locally famed for her penchant for bar-fighting; revered for stories of her youth in Strigaxia, the City of Witches) was walking along the road when she saw the ghost, walked up to it, and just punched it in the face. ‘I know a ghost when I see one,’ she said, ‘and that ain’t no ghost.’

When the rest of the workers found out about Pentwaithe’s night-time excursions in his distinctly mundane bedsheets, they turned out in force, banging pots and pans and screaming at the top of their lungs. The workers and their descendants (many of whom still live in the House to this day) have been doing it every year since, despite rumours that Pentwaithe’s real ghost now lurks in the ruins of his ill-fated Manor.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of Vipers and Syringes

  • Dane Harlow’s Festival of Trucks

January 20th – The Coronation of the Traitor King Remembrance Day

Today is a day of public sadness and remembrance for the victims of the tyrannous reign of King Horatio The Last, or The Traitor King, who was crowned on this day, 1890. Whilst some of the more terrible events of the Traitor King’s reign are commemorated in their own festivals, today is a day for Buentoillitants to look back in anger at the period in general; to learn from the past and never let a tyrant come to power in Buentoille again.

Shortly after his Coronation, King Horatio suspended Parliament using legal loopholes to recall the arbitrary powers of the old absolute monarchy. The Parliament of the time seemed increasingly illegitimate due to low voter turnouts, and their apparent inability to provide a solution to the Great Grain Crisis; Buentoille had become dependant on the Seven Cities Trading Company for the bulk of it’s food supplies, and now that the Company had a monopoly it was charging outrageous prices for them.

Horatio capitalised on this crisis, posing as a ‘strongman’ who would single-handedly solve the problems the City faced. He had gained the support of the Buentoilliçan newspapers during his time as Trade Ambassador, and they provided him with excessive positive coverage. He also had the support of many industrialists from the City and abroad, so met little substantial resistance on his rise to power. It was not known at the time, but he was secretly being funded by the Seven Cities Trading Company, who also provided military support further into his reign.

Dissidents were ruthlessly suppressed in the following years, as the unions and revolutionary groups began to organise resistance. The old king’s death (later found to have been murdered by his brother, Horatio) was unexpected, so few had prepared for the nightmarish eventuality that now faced them. 15,238 Buentoillitants are known to have disappeared or been killed throughout the Traitor King’s fifteen years of rule, and today the same number of small, black stones will be placed in the Fountain of the Revolution, in an act of remembrance that echoes how their bodies were often disposed of in the marshes or sea near the City.

A large march will also take place, where people carry pictures of their dead relatives and ancestors, and sing songs; both mournful ballads and angry protest songs. The march will snake through the City, finally arriving at the Traitor’s Square (formerly the Monarch’s Tower, before its destruction in 1905), where many effigies of the King are burned on an enormous bonfire, and more songs are sung.

Counter-demonstations are expected to be staged by monarchist extremists in support of Regent June in nearby streets, but they usually do not dare to cross the path of the march; confrontations in previous years have left many monarchists dead or wounded.

Other festivals happening today:

  • Learn Your History: a Hidden Library Special Collection

  • The League of Anti-Monarchist’s Intercity Day of Solidarity

  • Regent June’s Celebratory Feast

January 19th – The Surfacing of the Costermonger Whale

New arrivals to the City of Festivals may have noticed a large congregation at the docks; hundreds of people dressed in thick jumpers and rain coats, sitting under large umbrellas on camping and deckchairs, holding binoculars. They are waiting for a whale that isn’t coming.

The Costermonger Whale was a particular type of long-lived toothed whale, similar in appearance to a sperm whale. Very few others (called ‘mongers’ after their most famous example) have been sighted in the wild, yet a lot is known about this particular species; in 1873 over thirty of them washed up in the Buentoille Bay, almost all of which unfortunately died, allowing for extensive dissection and study. The one survivor of this terrible event was The Costermonger Whale; a young whale at the time, it washed up right next to the dock itself, where a gang of sailors were quick enough to save it with the equipment used to haul large pieces of cargo to shore.

The studies carried out on the other whales, all of which were from the same pod, found that the monger whale has an abnormally large brain for its body size, similar in construction to the human brain in certain respects. The areas that are, in the human brain, linked to comprehension of time and superstition, were found to be particularly large. It has been theorised that the monger whale has cognitive abilities rivalling those of a ten year old human child, but this is as yet unproven.

Exactly a year after the mass beaching, the Costermonger Whale returned to the docks of Buentoille, this time only lifting it’s chin onto land, whereupon it disgorged a number of valuable items, including three hundred clams (all of which contained exquisite pearls), a number of the navigation instruments used on the fateful Great Expedition, and a large chest of golden coins used by the Picaroon Consulate, dating from the 1560s – the height of their empire’s control over the Outer Sea. The whale then continued to swim around the bay for the rest of the day, happily receiving fish thrown in from the inhabitants of the dock.

A great number of people turned out to watch the spectacle (and attempt to take part of the booty), including a few of the naturalists, veterinarians, cetologists and other scientists who had attended the initial beaching. A few of them noticed that the whale was suffering from a small infestation of Darcyl’s Barnacles, an extremely painful parasitic form of whale barnacle that are particularly attracted to monger whales. They promptly sailed out to the Whale, whereupon it rolled onto its side to allow them to scrape the barnacles off with scraping rods. It is thought that they are usually removed by other monger whales using a bony protrusion on their noses, but the Costermonger Whale had unfortunately lost its pod.

The Whale continued to return every year, bringing valuable gifts in return for medical care, and, perhaps, the company of other intelligent mammals. Over time a number of traditions developed around its appearance; an enormous fish pie was made and fed to the Whale (who seemed to favour it to plain fish), people would swim around it in colourful bathing suits, and when they noticed it enjoyed music, people would row out into the harbour and sing, and it would sing back for the duration of its stay.

Today the pie is still baked, the swimmers still adorn their colourful bathing suits, the choir still sings, but no whale arrives; it hasn’t since 1972.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Cloister of Saint Ishmael’s Day of Open Prayer

  • The Scattering of the Petals

January 18th – The Festival of Freckles and Moles

Various smiling, freckly cherubs have been plastered all across the City in the form of posters advertising Buentoille’s newly announced Festival of Freckles. The festival is organised by the City’s Society of Dermatologists, who are setting up various stalls in Saint Finnius’ Square which will check potentially worrisome moles for signs of disease, promote the benefits of good skin care, and sell various lotions and oils. The festival was originally intended as a generalised dermatological health day, but due to new laws (lobbied for by the so-called True Traditionalists) which restrict the creation of new, official festivals unless they are backed by two separate groups, the specialisation of freckles was agreed upon.

The second group, who insisted upon the focus on freckles, are the Buentoilliçan Creed of Beauty, a relatively new group whose most recent contribution to Buentoilliçan society, besides the festival, is their new publication Glowing, which, amongst other things, has pointed to the high incidence of freckles in Buentoillitants of all racial backgrounds as a sign of their ‘increased genetic strength and beauty’ in comparison to inhabitants of other cities and cultures. The study was peer-reviewed by Buentoillitant Scientist Magazine, who noted that whilst ‘the study’s methodology and findings are sound’, the ‘conclusions drawn from [the study] by the Creed of Beauty are entirely spurious.’ It is currently unknown why Buentoille appears to have a far higher rate of freckled inhabitants than anywhere else in the known world.

The Creed will also be hosting a number of stalls at the square, which will educate visitors about the importance of freckles in Buentoilliçan history and culture, and paint freckles onto children and adults who do not naturally have them. They will also be organising a beauty pageant and catwalk. Many of these activities are considered suspect by various other Buentoilliçan organisations, and it is expected that a number of protesters will turn up to the festival, all with their own reasoning. The True Traditionalists are obviously expected to protest at any new festival, but other groups have also been critical of the festival and it’s perceived aims, saying that it creates a ‘false dichotomy of beauty,’ and that the claims that freckles are historically important to the City’s culture amount to ‘disingenuous historical revisionism.’ In response, the Creed has today released a new edition of Glowing, which claims to have found new evidence buried in the vaults of the Hidden Library for their claims that Buentoillitants historically revered and even worshipped highly freckled people.

Claims that the Creed is secretly funded by the Guild of Masters have been strongly rebuked.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Emergence of THE HAND!!!

  • Raymonde Siythe’s Crystal Reading Ceremony

January 17th – Izak Ugirin’s Day

Izak Ugirin is a legendary figure from the Buentoilliçan music scene. Born in on this day in 1918 to a poor family from the Docker’s districts, Ugirin was noted to be an extremely lively child by his teachers and friends, a trait which stayed with him until death at the ripe old age of 94. Indeed, it was an attribute about which Ugirin seemed immensely proud; in an interview in the 2005 work about his life, The Way He Moves, Ugirin unexpectedly produces a school report:

I have it here, actually,’ he said, pulling a weathered old sheet out from his jacket pocket, ‘Izak seems incapable of any task which requires more than five minutes of sustained concentration. Unfortunately I have had to have him leave class on a number of occasions this term, due to his extremely distracting behaviour.’ Mr. Ugirin paused for effect here, his knees bobbing up and down in excitement, ‘He seems to be possessed of a boundless energy that he cannot keep contained.’ His tone upon reading these words was similar to that of a man who has just read the final words of a book he had loved all his life to his only child. His eyes were intense; laden with meaning.

Despite failing almost all of his classes at school, Ugirin found early success and fame in the music halls and clubs of the time through dance. He would turn up to almost every musical event that the City had to offer, dancing in his own, strange, characteristic way throughout. Ugirin would be the first on the dance floor, and the last off it, often staying at the end to chat to the band, and soon he found himself gaining free entry to every venue he frequented. In these early days, jazz was the most popular musical form in Buentoille, along with ragtime and folk; Ugirin seemed to favour them all equally.

This fame only intensified as new music forms came about as the century progressed, with many bands inviting him on stage or tour with him, but Ugirin never left the dance floor. He often danced alone, but would dance with anyone who suitably impressed him. For the entirety of the 1960s he danced almost exclusively with the ex-ballet dancer Missy Van Horne, and the two months after her death in 1970 were the only time during his life you could not find Ugirin dancing in public.

Ugirin’s characteristic energy was often ascribed to drugs such as katphaline and cocaine, but he claimed never to have even drank alcohol, and on several instances insisted on having blood tests to prove his claims. In his later life Ugirin did try alcohol, but immediately spat it out. He was known to only drink ice cold lemonade until he was diagnosed with diabetes in his eighties. He died at a Jungle gig in Benny’s Cavern, in 2012. His cause of death is unclear; eyewitnesses report seeing him dancing as he always did (Ugirin danced like he was 20 even into his old age, refusing to slow down), but as the music ended at 6:30 in the morning, he suddenly looked very tired and sat down at the bar. The bar lady, who had known him many years and never seen him seated, asked him if he was okay. ‘I think I need a rest, he said, ‘it was fun whilst it lasted.’ He then put his head on the bar, made as if to sleep there, and promptly died.

Many Buentoillitants will turn up to Benny’s Cavern today, from the various great musicians who he met, to those he danced with, to those who have only heard of his great work. The Buentoille Union of Dance, of which Ugirin was a founding member, will perform a number of dances, commemorating the various different dance forms and genres the man pioneered. Speeches will be made between the music of various new bands, and various types of lemonade will be served. The festival will culminate in a strange spectacle; an entirely silent dance comprising of incredibly quick footwork is accompanied by swirling hand movements, with a particularly memorable few minutes in which the dancers hold their arms straight up, but leave the hands floppy. The lack of music in this dance is intended to symbolise how Ugirin could dance to any kind of music, no matter the beat, rhythm, pace or melody, in a way that was utterly individual, beautiful and compelling.

Other festivals happening today:

  • Graffiti Artists’ Tour Day

  • Hoppard Synthenik’s Dutiful Kiss Remembrance Ceremony

  • The Festival of Saint Ocul’s Awakening

January 16th – Snow Day

You will see more children in the streets of Buentoille today than on any other day of the year. They will be accompanied by street vendors stirring huge vats of steaming caramelised nuts, soup salespeople and those supplying extra scarves, gloves and woolly hats with the bobble on top to the children and their parents. Today it is going to snow.

Despite many meteorological studies into the phenomenon, the question of why it is almost certain to snow today is still unsolved. It is thought to be to do with the sudden abatement of the southern Karst winds, but this is far from proven or fully explained. The pattern first emerged through the 1860s, but was initially ignored as that decade saw record snowfalls, still unmatched today, where Buentoille was covered in persistent snow from late December to mid March.

Whilst it might snow on other days of the year, it has snowed on the 16th of January every day since 1862, except for 1994 when it merely sleeted. Children wake up especially early, as the snow has often settled overnight, and continues to fall through the day. The few cars in the city are banned from using the roads today, but the tramways and train lines are salted in advance, and continue to run on time. The underground is usually unaffected.

Today it is also highly likely that the Moway river that runs through the south west of the City, and The People’s Mirror (the lake in Revolution Park) will freeze over, providing an excellent opportunity for ice skaters. The Committee for Winter Safety will test the thickness of the ice is adequate before any skating is allowed. Sledging is also a common pastime, and is part of the reason that cars are banned today, with many of the steep roads and lanes being transformed for the day into sledge and ski runs by the City’s children. The most famous of these runs goes through the twists and turns of the Prophet’s Steps in Guilgamot district; the child who can complete the journey unharmed and still on their sledge is awarded the Brilliant Medal of Extreme Honour by the Union of Children.

Today is also a day for the giving and receiving of cards decorated with snowy scenes, usually with the salutation ‘Happy Snow Day!’ These cards will often feature a redjack, a small, blood-red bird with a white beak that visits the City only on Snow Day.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Guild of Skaters Grand Competition
  • Ice Fisher’s Association Weigh In