- For 2010 – The Lunar New Year will be on February 14th; the Lunar Festival will be held February 14th to March 7th.
- On the date of the actual lunar New Year, celebrations occur in Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, Booty Bay and Moonglade.
- On the last day of the festival, one last firework show will be held in Moonglade. This parallels the Chinese “Festival of Lanterns”, with extra lanterns spawned around Lake Elune’ara (the firework show occurs over the lake).
Some holiday items that relate to the Chinese New Year include:
- Various rockets and fireworks
- Festival Dumplings
- Costumes that depict festive Lunar holiday dresses and suits in a variety of colors besides red
- Recipes that will allow players to create red Lunar holiday clothing
- A special red envelope with a surprise inside (inspired by the red packets that is given during Chinese New Year)
Finally, there is Omen, a high-level boss that spawns in Moonglade during the festival, giving players a chance to experience a raid-style encounter that only appears during this time of year. Omen is inspired by the tale of “Nian” from Chinese lore.
BACKGROUNDER: The Lunar Festival is a time of celebration. The peoples of Azeroth celebrate their triumph of many thousands of years ago, when an alliance of good races (Night Elves, Tauren, and Earthen – a proto-dwarven race) defeated a terrible evil. It is also a time of remembrance for the valor and wisdom of that ancient age.
The demi-god Omen was a being of great strength and knowledge. Blessed by Elune, Omen wandered primordial Kalimdor, guiding hunters and gatherers and offering luck and advice to all he met. When the Burning Legion launched their attack, Omen allied with Azeroth’s defenders. He fought bravely but after many battles his wounds from demonic forces plunged Omen into a deep, dreaming sleep… where fel-inspired nightmares slowly consumed him. When he finally awoke, centuries later, he had fallen to madness.
The transformed Omen rampaged. No longer a creature of wisdom – but still possessing the strength of Elune’s blessing – he tore through the land, killing and devouring. Terror rode before him, and death trailed in his wake.
Omen’s spree of horror ended when a coterie of ancient heroes gathered in the village of Nighthaven and faced the beast. They called down the moon’s wrath and Omen, blinded and stunned by the power of the moon goddess, fled into the deep waters of Lake Elune’ara. That day marked the end of his rampage, and symbolized a new beginning for the people of Azeroth and the followers of Elune.
Today, the Lunar Festival is held by the druids of Nighthaven. Both the Horde and Alliance are welcomed to celebrate and shoot fireworks – a symbol of Elune’s power. Ancient heroes of the past also appear throughout the land, offering gifts to those who find and honor them.
It is a time of happiness and fortune and celebration, but it has a deeper motive as well…
Omen, defeated so many centuries ago, yet remains in Lake Elune’ara. Although driven insane by the Burning Legion, the demi-god still possesses Elune’s blessing and is, hence, immortal. During the Lunar Festival, he stirs… and heroes of the land are called to defeat him once again.