Many of World of Warcraft’s world events are based on real world holidays and festivals. The Lunar Festival corresponds to Chinese New Year, and runs at approximately the same time as its real world counterpart. As a result the Lunar Festival is a movable holiday, usually falling sometime in late January or February.
Omen and Lake Elune’ara
Warcraft’s Lunar Festival celebrates the victory of the races of Azeroth over the Burning Legion in an ancient war. Fighting alongside the good races was the demigod Omen—an enormous two-headed wolf blessed with immortality by the night elf goddess Elune.
The battle against evil eventually corrupted Omen, and he turned on his allies. Eventually defeated, the giant wolf was trapped beneath Lake Elune’ara in Moonglade. During the Lunar Festival Omen rises, providing Horde and Alliance alike with a special boss raid only available during the Festival.
Elders of the Lunar Festival
During the Lunar Festival the spirits of Azeroth’s elders appear across the Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor and Northrend. Player characters visit these elders to show their respect. In return, the elders present players with Coins of Ancestry, which can be redeemed for festival clothing, fireworks, and other items from Valadar and Fariel Starsong, in Moonglade.
Approximately eight hours after honoring an elder, the player receives a thank you letter from the elder in a red envelope. Envelopes contain either Lucky Rocket Clusters or an Elder’s Moonstone. The Moonstone summons a circle of light, while the Rocket Cluster gives a 30 minute +250 health buff when thrown into a cluster launcher.
PVP and the Lunar Festival
In some ways the Lunar Festival brings the factions of Azeroth together—both factions can teleport to Moonglade from the Lunar Festival areas in their capital cities and there’s an ongoing party at the Moonglade teleport pads. Both Horde and Alliance honor the elders without concern for the elder’s species.
This doesn’t mean peace falls across Azeroth, of course. Trying to honor the elders who reside in the enemy cities brings players into conflict. And then there’s Omen. With 25 man raids on both sides trying to defeat the demigod, there’s plenty of opportunity for PVP action.
To Honor One’s Elders
Complete all the Lunar Festival achievements to earn the “To Honor One’s Elders” world event achievement, which counts towards the ultimate world event achievement “What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been.”
No less than six of the eleven Lunar Festival achievements require players to honor elders in specific locations. These achievements require significant travel time for players, who may spend quite a bit of gold on flights and teleports.
The eleven achievements are listed below. The player who earns the “To Honor One’s Elders” achievement also earns the right to the title “Elder.”
- Elders of the Eastern Kingdoms: Honor the 17 elders in the Eastern Kingdoms.
- Elders of the Dungeons: Honor the 13 elders in the dungeons of Azeroth.
- Elders of the Alliance: Honor the 3 elders in the Alliance home cities.
- 50 Coins of Ancestry: Earn 50 Coins of Ancestry.
- The Rocket’s Red Glare: Set off 10 Red Rocket Clusters in under 25 seconds.
- Elune’s Blessing: Defeat Omen to receive Elune’s Blessing.
- Elders of Kalimdor: Honor the 21 elders in Kalimdor.
- Elders of the Horde: Honor the 3 elders in the Horde home cities.
- Elders of Northrend: Honor the 19 Northrend elders.
- Lunar Festival Finery: Buy a Festive pant suit or festival dress with Coins of Ancestry.
- Frenzied Firecracker: set off 10 Festival Firecrackers in 30 seconds or less.
Because the dates for World of Warcraft’s Lunar Festival vary from year to year, the event often overlaps with Azeroth’s answer to Valentine’s Day. Love is in the Air is a time of joy and heartbreak that takes place in mid-February. A giant two headed wolf is bad enough, but a winged goblin in a Cupid diaper?
That’s true horror.