There are a variety of festivals to participate, spread out across the world. The festivals unlock as you solve the problems of each town and then complete a special request. You have to keep a close eye on your DocPad calendar to remember festivals, as there isn't an in-game indicator in the morning when you wake up to remind you. Sometimes Vitae will let you know about a festival, but she pops up a week before the festival takes place.
Some festivals happen once per year, and some are twice per year. The competitive festivals will have difficulty ranks: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You have to beat the Beginner rank to unlock Intermediate, and then win at Intermediate to unlock Advanced.
After receiving the Medallion of Earth, talk to Braden to hear him explain how he wants to start an equestrian race. He'll need 10 Oak Lumber to achieve his goal. Chop down the Oak Trees around Calisson and give him the lumber.
The Equestrian Race takes place every Spring 5 and Fall 5. Head to Calisson and talk to Samantha before 10:00 am to enter. She'll be in her typical spot at the top of the hill. You do not need to bring your ridable mount with you, but it will take about 45 minutes to run from the Calisson Memory Portal to where Samantha is located at the top of the hill. After you confirm the difficulty level with Samantha, you can then select your contest entry from a list of ridable mounts that you own.
The goal is to race through Braden's field, run over every red flag checkpoint, and then race back to the start line. Dismounting off the horse will automatically disqualify you from the challenge. Save your game before talking to Samantha so you can reload if you lose the race. For the Intermediate and Advanced difficulty, the flags are randomly placed when you start the race. It may take a few attempts before you get lucky enough to have the flags close enough together for you to beat Braden's time.
- Beginner Rank: Try to tag all flags and return through the start gate within 8 seconds. The first-place prize is 5 Orange Bell Pepper, and the participation prize is 5 Potatoes.
- Intermediate Rank: The next level up requires you to tag the flags in no more than 10 seconds (Braden will win if you take too long). First place is 5 Pink Marguerite, and the participation prize is 5 Potatoes.
- Advanced Rank: The final level should be completed faster than 12 seconds. First place is 5 Snow Moon, and the participation prize is 5 Potatoes.
The festival ends at 5:00 pm.
Red Hot Cook-Off
After receiving the Medallion of Fire, return to Lebkuchen and talk to Tristan. He'd like to host a cooking festival to showcase the town's bread and cheese. Tristan asks that you bring him 10 Maple Lumber in preparation for the contest.
The Maple Trees look similar to Ginkgo Trees. Looking at the leaves will give you a better indication whether the three is a Maple or a Ginkgo. There are 2 Maples next to Samantha's cart, 3 more in the large clearing between Lebkuchen and the desert, and another 3 in the clearing between Calisson and Lebkuchen.
The cooking contest will take place on Spring 15 and Fall 15. You will need to bring a cooked dish for your contest entries, then talk to Franz by his house on the west end of town before 10:00 am to enter the contest. Select your entry level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced), and Franz will instruct you to bring him 3 cooked dishes before 4:00 pm. Not returning by that time will result in the judging going on without you (though you still might take 2nd place by default).
Unfortunately, Franz says he takes 3 dishes, but he actually only accepts 1 dish. The winning contest entry appears to be based on a behind-the-scene point tally, similar to the cooking festival in Harvest Moon: Light of Hope. Ideally, try to enter dishes that have a high shipment value.
- Beginner Rank: The ship price of your dish should be 300 G or greater. I've lost using Coconut Milk (300 G) but won using Fried Egg (300 G). First place is 2 Quiche, and the participation prize is 2 Fried Egg.
- Intermediate Rank: I've won with Triple Fried Araucana Eggs, Hibiscus Cake, and Flower Gelato. So there are plenty of easy recipes to make that can win this category. First place is 2 Ahi Poke, and the participation prize is 2 Fried Egg
- Advanced Rank: This rank is very easy to win if you kept the Ahi Poke from winning the Intermediate rank festival. Simply submit it as your entry to win Advanced rank. First place is 2 Truffles au Gratin, and the participation prize is 2 Fried Egg
You'll receive your contest entry back.
This festival takes place on Spring 25, and unlocks as you go though the Pastilla storyline (i.e., you don't have to do anything special). Visit Pastilla on this day to see it decorated with flowers.
The marriage candidates from all the towns will also be attending the festival, including Sana and Shogen from Wagashi if you purchased the Eastern expansion pack.
- You'll receive a simple thank-you when giving a flower to a same-gender candidate. You can give any flower, as it is received as a normal gift. All the same-gender candidates will accept a flower gift from you.
- The first opposite-gender candidate you give any flower to will start a romantic scene with that person. You will earn a half-heart of affection with that person. The romantic portion of the festival will end at 6:00 pm.
You don't have to give a specific flower to be invited to a date. Any 'ol flower that you've grown will be fine. But, the candidates do have preferred flowers. If you give the right flower to an opposite gender candidate to trigger a date, during the flower viewing scene you will receive a flower as a reward for your floral offering. The same-gender marriage candidates will give you a grateful thank you:
- Ahina: Hollyhock (gives you Hibiscus)
- Braden: Marguerite
- Gabrielle: Pink Rose (gives you Tulip)
- Jamil: Goldband Lily or Queen of the Night
- Kanoa: Hibiscus
- Kirsi: Hibiscus (gives you Viola)
- Laura: Goldband Lily (gives you Edelweiss)
- Malika: Chamomile (gives you Chamomile)
- Sami: Viola
- Sana: Water Lotus (gives you Cotton Rosemellow)
- Shogen: Lotus
- Tristan: Goldband Lily
After receiving the Medallion of Time, go back to Salmiakki and talk to Sami. He wants to start a reindeer sled race to bring visitors to the town. Sami needs 10 Birch Lumber. You can find these leafy trees in the snowy mountain region east of the town.
The race itself takes place on Summer 5 and Winter 5. You will need to own a reindeer to participate.
To unlock reindeer, complete Jamil's Protecting Animals 4 task. Bring him 4 Broccoli to unlock the 30,000 G reindeer at his mom's shop. Broccoli Seed wisps can be found in Salmiakki.
If you're stuck on the prior task, Protecting Animals 3, you can find a Barley Seed wisp in the alcove as you enter the Lebkuchen lava field. If you have finished Lebkuchen and are receiving requests from Franz, he may send you a request for 4 Truffle in exchange for 20 Barley Seeds. Truffles are wild grown on the road between Calisson and Lebkuchen, or in the snow field of Salmiakki.
Visit Salmiakki on the festival day and talk to Viiho before 10:00 am. You'll race against three other competitors. On the ground will be yellow circles. When the front legs of your reindeer pass over a circle, press the A button (Switch) or X Button (Ps4) to cheer on your mount. If you press the button properly, hearts will flutter and you'll speed up. If you don't press the buttons right, the reindeer will slow down. Reach the finish line before everyone else to win! Watch out for Sami and his burst of speed close to the end of the race.
- Beginner Rank: First place is 4 Jersey Milk, and the participation prize is 4 Milk.
- Intermediate Rank: First place is 4 Araucana Eggs, and the participation prize is 4 Milk.
- Advanced Rank: This one is challenging because of how close the prompt circles are on the course. Remember, you don't have to hit every prompt, but just enough to keep your speed higher than Sami's. First place is 5 Cashmere, and the participation prize is 4 Milk.
Big Fish Faceoff
After receiving the Medallion of Water, talk to Kanoa in Halo Halo. He wants to start a fishing tournament and requests that you bring him 10 Iron. You can collect Iron Ore any of the 3 mines in the game, then have the ore processed into metal by paying Doc Jr 40 G per ore.
The tournament will take place ever Summer 15 and Winter 15. Holokai will accept registrations until 10:00 am. Note that if Ahina is waiting for you in the cafe to trigger her 2.5 heart love event, Holokai won't be outside to accept entries for the Big Fish Faceoff; you'll have to trigger the romantic event and wait until the next time the festival comes around to participate.
Talk to Holokai outside Cafe Mahalo to select the difficulty level. The person who catches the largest fish in Halo Halo before 4:00 pm will be the winner. Leaving the town will eject you from the contest. You also need to reel in the fish before 4:00 pm. Your fish won't count for the contest if you are currently reeling in when the time is up.
- Beginner Rank: You'll want to catch a fish of at least 70 cm to beat Kanoa. Using Level 1 Regular Bait can sometimes attract Lobster, but you won't win with Sardines or Goby. Try Level 2 Regular Bait for a better chance of snagging larger fish. The first-place prize is 3 Red Seabream, and the participation prize is 3 Sardine.
- Intermediate Rank: The size to beat is 80 cm. You may need to use Level 3 Regular Bait or even Big Fish Bait to start pulling in whoppers. First place is 3 Black Porgy, and the participation prize is 3 Sardine.
- Advanced Rank: Kanoa will catch a 150 cm fish, so you'll want to use Big Fish or Legendary bait. You might catch a large Barracuda or Cod larger than Kanoa's catch. First place is 3 Akame, and the participation prize is 3 Sardine.
Talk to Ahina when she is standing next to her mobile cart after you receive the Medallion of Water. She would like to revive the old Lantern Festival that used to take place in Summer. Ahina requests that you bring her 10 Palm Lumber so she can prepare for the festival. You can collect Palm Lumber by chopping down the Palm trees around Halo Halo.
The Lantern Festival will take place on Summer 25. On the day of the festival, head to Halo Halo to see the marriage candidates walking around the beach. Talk to the person you want to spend the festival with. They'll accept your invitation and tell you to return to Halo Halo at 7:00 pm.
Be at the beach when the time reaches 7:00 pm to automatically meet with your date; the game will open a dialog box to let you know that it is now time for your lantern date. You'll paddle out in a boat with your sweetie to release a lantern together, then return to shore. You'll earn a half-heart of affection with your date.
If you are married, your spouse will tell you about the festival in the morning when you wake up. They'll ask if you want to go together or if you can't attend. If you do attend, you'll be automatically transported to the beach at 7:00 pm to watch the lanterns with your sweetie.
The festival ends at 8:00 pm.
Harvest Moon Festival
After restoring the Harvest Goddess, she'll come to you in a dream and tell you she wants to restart the crop festival. Goddess instructs you to work with Professor K to revive this old festival. Go visit the professor in Salmiakki to learn about plans for a Harvest Moon Festival. He needs 5 Strawberry Jam to initiate the festival. You should already have the recipe in your kitchen as part of the main storyline. Cook up the jam and bring them back to Professor Kaurismaki.
The Harvest Moon Festival will take place on Fall 25 at the Harvest Goddess Spring. Participants can submit crops, flowers, and animals for evaluation. Talk to the professor before 10:00 am at the clearing just before the shrine area to start the opening ceremony, then talk to him again to submit your contest entries. You'll be promoted to select a crop from your bag, then a flower, and finally a farm animal (either a livestock or pet can be selected).
This contest doesn't have difficulty ranks, so do the best you can! Rarer crops and flowers will earn more points than basic-level crops and flowers. For example, a strawberry, a marguerite, and a chicken isn't special enough to win. You may need to try many combinations of crop, flower, and animal before you'll be judged the winner. You'll also need to accept that you might not win with anything you try to submit, and will have to try again when you have better items to showcase.
I've had success winning this contest when submitting third-tier mutations that have a combined ship value of 2000 G or more, along with an exotic pet with 5 notes of friendship.
First place is 5 Snow Lantern, and second place is 5 Strawberry.
After you collect the Medallion of Time, talk to Kirsi in Salmiakki. She'll tell you how she wants to revive the Aurora Festival. She needs 10 Cedar Lumbar to prepare for the festival. The cone-shaped cedar trees can be found in the snowy mountain area.
The Aurora Festival takes place on Winter 25. This is a romantic festival you can invite a marriage candidate to. Visit Salmiakki to find the marriage candidates in and around the village area; Gabrielle and Tristan are by the Salmiakki town pond. Talk to the candidate of your opposite gender to invite them to watch the aurora with you. You can only invite one person.
At 7:00 pm, the game will take you back to the Salmiakki plaza to meet with your festival date. You'll have a nice conversation with your date while watching the lights blaze across the sky. You will earn a half-heart of friendship with your date.
This festival ends at 8:00 pm.