Christmas, renamed in recent years to the Winter Festival or Winter Festival of Friendship, is an event held from early December to mid-January. During the event, the player can travel to the Winter Village, follow the Northern Lights to the Winter Festivities, and participate in other limited-time activities. While there is now no snow on the ground during this event, there is a winter snowfall filter.
The first Christmas event started on November 28, 2012. In this update, snow covered the grounds of Jorvik and many quests involving preparing for Christmas were released. Additionally, a temporary Christmas shop was released in Moorland on December 12th of that same year.
On November 27, 2013, Christmas came to the newly released Jarlaheim and with it came the updates of Santa by the fountain in Jarlaheim and the introduction of Fragments of Christmas and Christmas Wishes, allowing users to collect enough Wishes to exchange them to Santa in return for a present with randomized event gear, clothing, and horse treats. On December 11, 2013, SSO released Lucia Dresses and Head Candle Wreaths representing St. Lucia's Day. From then on St. Lucia's day was celebrated in tandem with Christmas. In the December 18, 2013 update, SSO released a quest with Santa, involving players riding in Santa's sleigh to deliver presents.
The next year on December 22, SSO released an update allowing users to transform their starter horses into reindeer with a powder received from a quest.
Along with all of the regular Christmas updates in 2015, on December 13, SSO released its first Advent Calendar, allowing users to get special items and codes in the countdown to Christmas.
Everything stayed relatively the same the next year in 2016, but on November 29, 2017, Star Stable released the biggest overhaul to the Christmas Celebrations with the introduction of the Christmas village. All of the usual quests were not released, snow no longer covered Jorvik (although Christmas Decorations were still added) and Fragments of Christmas were replaced with just Christmas Wishes. In this update users could ride a sleigh to A Magical Christmas Market to participate in Christmas Activities. 2018 and 2019's Christmas events were mostly the same.
In 2020, the event received another overhaul. Now referred to as the Winter Festival, it became less based on real-life Christmas with the removal of Santa and other Christmas-related aspects. Winter Festivities were introduced, in which Northern Lights in the sky mark the location of activities which can be completed for Warm Wishes (which replaced Christmas Wishes). The Winter Village received an update as well. Snow was added back in a new way: a filter which could be toggled on or off through the elf named Dreams of Summer at all stables.
The event returned in 2021 with a large update of the Winter Village, giving it a new layout. Winter Festivities and Warm Wishes returned from the previous year.
Appearance of Jorvik
During the Christmases from 2012 to 2016 Christmas, Jorvik was covered with a white blanket of snow, and the trees' leaves turned white. The roads had a bit of snow on the edges of the stones, and in some places, it would snow. While snow stopped falling on Jorvik like before starting in 2017, Christmas decorations like Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, etc., still dot the landscape. Before the 2017 update players could also help decorate some areas, like Silverglade Village.
In 2020, the snow returned but only in the form of falling snow (with no effect on the landscape) along with the Northern Lights. However, the snow and lights could be reverted by talking to the elf called Dreams of Summer. Christmas decorations like miniature Yule Goats and Christmas lights across major settlements still remained. The home stable had also been decorated.
In the Christmases between 2012 and 2016, a few Christmas quests were released. Some of the NPCs including Steve, The Councilman in Silverglade Village, Will, and some others, had special quests for the player to do. These quests included things such as helping put up a Christmas tree in Silverglade Village and then decorating it, making gingerbread cookies for the people in town, making Christmas sausages, catching enchanted Yule Goats, and others.
Starting in 2017, these quests were no longer available, and the quests introduced involved collecting presents, catching enchanted gifts, running a Christmas race, and hunting down hidden elves in the Winter Village.
In 2020, the previous quests have been replaced with an updated Winter Village, Northern Lights, and the Winter Festivities that give the player Warm Wishes. These could be exchanged for gear and XP. Some of the old quests at the Village were still there, like the two races.
Gifts and Rewards
In the 2012-2016 Christmases, Santa Claus in Jarlaheim gave away presents (random event clothes and gear and horse treats) for Christmas wishes, consisting of three Christmas wish fragments. There were also special Christmas shops that sold Christmas outfits and gear. After the player also finished the preparation quests in Silverglade, they received some extra clothes.
With the introduction of the Winter Village, all of the previous quests were removed, so Christmas gear and clothing from past Christmases were released for purchase in the stores around the market. Additionally, for completing quests in the village, players received "Christmas Wishes," which they could exchange for current gear, clothing, and accessories found in a special cave called Ice Boutique.
Up until 2020, players received redeem codes from the 12th of December until the 31st on an Advent Calendar on the game’s website. However, after 2020, the advent calendar gifts were moved under the Yule Tree found in the middle of Winter Village and were gifted to players each day starting on the 1st and lasting until the 31st of December. A new present would be placed under the tree to open each day, containing things like horse tack, clothing, horse or player XP, and food. On the 25th of December, a Star Coin code is typically released through the day's gift, and on the 31st, a pet is given.