After the 28th day of the Month of Songs, the new year does not immediately begin; instead, a period "outside the calendar" takes place. A decree from the standing High Overseer of the Abbey of the Everyman both initiates the Feast and concludes it in "a day or two" when specific cosmological signs are observed.
During the Fugue Feast, people can act as they wish without fear of prosecution, as the time which passes "does not exist and is not recorded" in any official capacity. Acts which defy the Seven Strictures, such as intoxication and adultery, are common during this period. Even criminal behavior is overlooked, as individuals cannot be held accountable for their actions by official bodies. Nevertheless, people often wear masks or paint their faces in order to hide their identities during the Feast, so that they may "pursue their passions without reservation."
Once the appropriate celestial signs are detected, the High Overseer signals for the hymn of atonement, which ends the Fugue Feast, along with all associated impunity.
- The Fugue Feast resembles Carnival or Mardi Gras, as both involve elaborate costumes, intoxication, and overturning social conventions.
- Fugue is a psychiatric term for an amnesiac state wherein a person is "conscious of [their] actions but has no recollection of them after returning to a normal state."
- Several aristocrats throughout Dishonored can be heard saying they leave Dunwall for the countryside during the Fugue Feast.
- High Overseer Francis Perry mysteriously disappeared during the Fugue Feast, and his body was never found.