Festivals are a fun part of any Harvest Moon / Rune Factory game – a chance to break from the daily routine, and, if you’re lucky, a chance for a bonus to friendship with the villagers if you win.
Where it applies, in this guide, I’ve included descriptions of associated games and prizes, as well as helpful information and tips for success.
Please note that some festivals will only be unlocked by your actions or because of the NPCs you attract to the town, so you will have to wait until year 2 to take part in those.
New Year’s Festival
1st of Spring, beginning in Year 2
Celebrate the new year.
Talk to Rita in the town square on the 30th of Winter and she’ll give you a New Mochi, to break at the New Year’s Festival. On the 1st of Spring, return to the Town Square to see Rita and Turner standing near a banner and festival area. Approach the diamond shape for an action arrow to choose to place your New Mochi there to be smashed. On smashing, you’ll get a few Mochi. Talk to Uzuki near the singing rock in the center of the square to have your fortune told. Otherwise, not much going on today.
19th of Spring, beginning the second year.
Game: Sainte-Coquille Festival
Meet Bianca at the Town Square to play. The object of the game is to bring Bianca the dish she requests from the choices provided, within the time limit. While there are other townspeople participating, they don’t actually do anything during the game and their scores are random. You’ll get five foods for participating, category depending on where you place. First place wins premium main courses, second place gets soups, third place is desserts, and last place receives appetizers.
Tips and Tricks: Knowing your cooked dishes by sight will really help here.
As always, you can save before playing and reset if you don’t like the outcome.
Note that you’ll only have this festival if you set off the event that keeps Bianca and Tabatha in the village past the end of summer, year 1.
29th of Spring, beginning the second year.
The first year, you can get flowers from Eunice and Stella on this day. In following years, when it becomes an official village festival, you give flowers to “those you are indebted to.”
Anette gives: Toy Herb
Candy gives: Moondrop
Eunice gives: Moondrop
Ganesha gives: Moondrop
Iris Blanche gives: Charm Blue
Iris Noire gives: Pink Cat
Lara gives: Moondrop
Rita gives: Toy Herb
Rosetta gives: Toy Herb
Stella gives: Toy Herb
Tabatha gives: Moondrop
This is based on your interactions with the villagers in the past, particularly your help in their individual storylines, so you may find more villagers that give flowers in this second year than I have, and in future years, certainly will.
1st of Summer
Game: Watermelon pinata.
Talk to Rosetta at the beach. The object of the game is to follow the voices of the girls to find the watermelon and smash it. One girl will be lying, but you’re told who that is before you begin so you know who to ignore. No prize.
Ganesha Cup Boat Race
25th of Summer
Game: Boat Race
Meet Stella on the dock of Lake Poli. Despite the flavor text about having a girl with you, there’s no problem with doing this event solo.
Navigate your boat around the lake, collecting balloons as you go. Heart balloons are worth the most. If you have a girl with you, heart balloons will also give you a speed boost. This boost can make your boat difficult to control, so it’s a trade off. Balloons will reappear after a few seconds.
Other participants and their scores are random.
Participation prize is a mask, which offers cold resistance.
Tips: Make a circuit around the lake/between the islands following the balloon paths, giving balloons time to pop back up into place before you come around again. Beyond that, this one is practice, and chance.
30th of Summer
Wear a pumpkin mask. Everyone dresses up, but this one’s just for fun. No game, no giveaways.
Rosetta sells a pumpkin mask all season, or you can grow your own pumpkin and make this using the crafts table.
13th of Fall
A time of thanks. Give veggies to those who’ve helped you.
No game here, but the villagers pass out vegetables and other food. Talk to everyone. The second year more villagers gave my character vegetables than the first. Probably depends on events and past interactions with them, same as the flower festival.
I lost a lot of money when I passed a vegetable out to everyone just to see what would happen. Not much happened, the occasional humorous comment and whatever friendship points it was worth. Giving vegetables to the characters who don’t like them can cause amusing reactions. You might save some veggies for this festival if you want to have fun with it.
Coming of Age Day
25th of Fall
Game: Treasure Hunt
Meet Stella at the Town Square. You and the other treasure hunters will be searching for the Golden Turnip. Stella has left regular turnips and carrots strewn about, as well. These you can collect and keep. Each zone has one hiding spot. These are always the same. The Golden Turnip will be randomly placed in one, with the ordinary veggies in the other spots. Once you know the hiding spots it’s an easy matter to run check them all, and eventually get the right one.
Even with the Golden Turnip, you can end up in second place.
The prize for winning is a straw hat. Participation prize is a bottle of wine.
Dead end path near the blacksmith shop, that goes behind the Inn.
Next to Kross’s house.
The Observatory (the meadow up the mountain road).
Near the dock of Lake Poli.
Behind your house.
Near Mist’s pond.
To the right of the changing room on the beach.
In front of the big tablet next to the Rune Archives.
Tips and Tricks: Save that morning, and if it takes you too long, reset. You can also ride a pet for the speed boost. One of your fellow hunters will call out that they have it, after you find the first hiding spot. The game’s not over, keep looking. You CAN make seed of a golden turnip if you have a seed maker. Of course, you can’t turn it in, then.
Sea Surf Day
30th of Autumn, after completion of the storyline.*
A day that Whale Island blocks the sun, as its Runeys absorb the sun’s warmth to prepare for winter. A reflective festival, no games, prizes, or giveaways, though Melody says it’s a day to give hot milk.
*Have to talk to the Whale about why the Whale blocks the sun, then talk to Stella, to have her declare it a Festival and have it appear on your calendar.
7th of Winter
Game: Quiz Contest
Meet Kanno in the Town Square. He will give you the chance to test your game knowledge against other players. The participants are mostly random. Mist is a given.
He will ask 10 random questions with three possible answers. Each question can be answered by standing in the numbered box that corresponds to the correct answer. Your fellow players will sometimes guess, and sometimes know, and occasionally shove each other out of the box trying to stand in it. Being outside the box lines is counted as a wrong answer. Correct answers by each person are marked by fruit lined out in the square.
On the last question Kanno will mix it up a bit with Super Gramp’s Question. This is worth bonus points, usually 5 or 10 points. Once it was 4 points, which was half my score at the time. Possibilities include:
Everyone except the current point leader gets the points if the answer is gotten right.
The person currently in last gets the points if anyone gets it right.
Anyone who gets it right gets the points.
Top prize is all the fruit that’s been used to tally the score. Consolation prize is a random food item. When there is a tie, he gives the top prize to a random observer and everyone who participated gets the consolation prize.
Tips and Tricks: You can use the ability to push or block people to edge them out of the box or prevent them from choosing yours. You have to be careful with timing on this one, you only have a few seconds to get situated and don’t want to be stopped outside the box yourself. You might also notice a need to strategically place yourself so that, when frozen, you still have a chance of blocking a certain other player from crowding into the box.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, keep in mind the hobbies and areas of expertise of the other players. For example, Tabatha knows monsters, and Turner has a reputation as a cook. You can usually trust their answers in their own areas of expertise.
And, as always, save that morning, and if you don’t like how things turn out, reset.
19th of Winter
Everyone in town brings and ingredient for one gigantic hotpot. Held in the town square. I gave a bamboo shoot and had a good result, if you want a cheap idea. There doesn’t appear to be any effect, positive or negative, attached to the results. The only difference is in what the townspeople say about it. No prize.
Year End Festival
30th of Winter
Reflect on the past year and prepare for the next. Talk to Rita in the Town Square for a New Mochi to break the following day. If you want to see the sunrise, as the villagers mention, just stay out late. It gets light in-game around 3 am.