The Lunar Festival is one of WoW's more fun and forgiving holidays, and this year it runs from Sunday, Jan. 22 until Sunday, Feb. 12. That's right, folks; you've got three weeks to get everything done, which is definitely a good thing if you're new to the holiday and unfamiliar with the amount of travel time it requires. The basics of the holiday involve talking to a number of elders to honor them, receiving Coins of Ancestry in return, and then using the coins to purchase holiday items. The To Honor One's Elders meta-achievement is also a requirement for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so if you're still after a Violet Proto-Drake, make sure you get this done.
The Lunar Festival is definitely not one of Azeroth's more difficult holidays, but it's time-consuming if you're starting from scratch due to the number of NPCs you'll need to hunt down. However, it's also a good time to do World Explorer and Surveying the Damage for just that reason.
Elders of the Eastern Kingdoms
Elders of the Eastern Kingdoms, as with most of the elder-related achievements, is easy to do as long as you don't mind traveling. All you have to do to honor the elders is find 'em, right-click on 'em, and have a nice chat. They're always sitting in a big beam of light, so they tend to stand out. You'll need to speak with all of the following elders in the Eastern Kingdoms in order to complete this achievement, and I've listed them in rough order from the northern part of the continent to the southern.
If you don't have a coordinate addon, elders are nonetheless pretty simple to find: Look for the telltale pool of light! Elders are rarely located all that far from flight paths.
Quick note concerning Elders of Cataclysm, a separate achievement You may or may not want to do this at the same time you're doing the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor achievements due to the direct ports to each Cataclysm zone available from Stormwind/Orgrimmar. If you're starting on a fresh character, it's probably easiest to just do them all at once. I've listed the relevant elders here for convenience, but bear in mind that you'll still need to port to Vashj'ir and Deepholm.
- Graveborn the Elder 61,53 in Brill (Tirisfal Glades). While you're here, hope over to the Ruins of Lordaeron (above Undercity) speak with Elder Darkcore.
- Meadowrun the Elder 65,38 in the Western Plaguelands
- Moonstrike the Elder 69,73 in Caer Darrow (the island with Scholomance, Western Plaguelands)
- Windrun the Elder 35,68 in the Eastern Plaguelands
- Snowcrown the Elder 75,52 at Light's Hope Chapel (Eastern Plaguelands). While you're here, fly to Stratholme for Farwhisper the Elder (see below).
- Highpeak the Elder 50,48 in the Hinterlands
- Obsidian the Elder 45,41 in The Sepulcher (Silverpine Forest)
- Darkfeather the Elder 51,33 in the Thundermar Ruins in Twilight Highlands (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Firebeard the Elder 50, 70 in the Dunmar Ruins in Twilight Highlands (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Silvervein the Elder 33,46 at Thelsamar (Loch Modan)
- Goldwell the Elder 46,51 at Kharanos (Dun Morogh). While you're in Dun Morogh, head to Ironforge to speak with Bronzebeard the Elder (see below).
- Ironband the Elder 21,79 in Searing Gorge
- Dawnstrider the Elder 64,23 at Flame Crest (Burning Steppes)
- Rumblerock the Elder 82,46 at Dreadmaul Rock (Burning Steppes). Before you leave Burning Steppes, fly to Blackrock Mountain and get Elder Stonefort in LBRS and Elder Morndeep in BRD.
- Stormbrow the Elder 40,63 at Goldshire (Elwynn Forest). While you're here, head to Stormwind to speak with Hammershout the Elder.
- Skychaser the Elder 56,47 at Sentinel Hill (Westfall)
- Bellowrage the Elder 54,49 at the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. While you're here, fly north from Blasted Lands to the Swamp of Sorrows, and hit the Sunken Temple for Elder Starsong (see below).
- Starglade the Elder 71,34 outside Zul'Gurub (Stranglethorn Vale)
- Winterhoof the Elder 40,72 in Booty Bay (Stranglethorn Vale)
Once you're all set with the Eastern Kingdoms, hop a boat or zeppelin to the west in order to do Elders of Kalimdor. Again, I've listed them in order from the northern end of the continent to the southern.
- Bladeleaf the Elder 56,60 at Dolanaar (Teldrassil). Combine this with a trip to get Elder Bladeswift in Darnassus (see below).
- Starweave the Elder 49,19 at Lor'danel (Darkshore)
- Stonespire the Elder 60,50 in Everlook (Winterspring)
- Brightspear the Elder 53,57 in the Ruins of Lake Kel'theril in Winterspring
- Evershade the Elder 62,22 under Nordrassil in Mount Hyjal (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Windsong the Elder 26,62 at Sanctuary of Malorne in Mount Hyjal (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Nightwind the Elder 37,53 in Jaedanar (Felwood)
- Riversong the Elder 35,48 in Astranaar (Ashenvale)
- Skygleam the Elder 65,79 at the Ravencrest Monument (Azshara)
- Moonwarden the Elder 48,59 in the Crossroads (Northern Barrens)
- Windtotem the Elder 68,70 in Ratchet (Northern Barrens)
- Runetotem the Elder 54,44 in Razor Hill (Durotar). Unfortunately, this is a really ugly Elder for Alliance players to reach due to his proximity to the Razor Hill flightmaster. While you're here, fly to Orgrimmar to speak with Darkhorn the Elder.
- High Mountain the Elder 41,47 at Vendetta Point (Southern Barrens). Sadly, another next-to-the-flightmaster Elder.
- Bloodhoof the Elder 48,53 in Bloodhoof Village (Mulgore). While you're here, fly to Thunder Bluff to speak with Wheathoof the Elder (see below) in Thunder Bluff; after getting Mulgore/The Barrens done, you'll want to fly to Desolace to do Splitrock the Elder in Maraudon, and then head to Feralas.
- Mistwalker the Elder 63,31 in the Dire Maul complex (Feralas)
- Grimtotem the Elder 76,37 in Feralas
- Skyseer the Elder 45,48 at Freewind Post (Thousand Needles)
- Elder Morningdew 77,75 on the speedbarge (Thousand Needles)
- Dreamseer the Elder 51,27 in Gadgetzan (Tanaris). Fly west to Zul'Farrak to get Wildmane the Elder (see below)
- Ragetotem the Elder 36,80 in Tanaris (outside Uldum).
- Thunderhorn the Elder 50,76 in Slithering Scar (Un'Goro Crater)
- Sekhemi the Elder 31,63 at the Ruins of Ammon in Uldum (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Menkhaf the Elder 65,18 at at Khartut's Tomb in Uldum (for Elders of Cataclysm)
- Primestone the Elder 31,13 in the Crystal Vale (Silithus)
Bladesing the Elder The moonwell at Cenarion Hold (Silithus)
You'll also need to talk to a series of elders located in capital cities for Elders of the Alliance and its Horde version, which means the oft unpleasant process of having to enter enemy cities. This is somewhat easier these days now that you can fly straight into most enemy cities, but the odds of being knocked off your mount by airborne guards or hostile players are still pretty good. The three Alliance elders are easy enough to reach if you're Alliance, but Horde will have some work to do here. Keeping this in mind, the instructions below are written with an eye toward locating elders if you're a member of the opposite faction, and I've retained instructions on how to find the elders on foot if your character isn't able to fly yet.
- Bladeswift the Elder 33,14 in the Cenarion Enclave in Darnassus. This is located in the northern part of the city and just south of the Howling Oak district. Sorry, Horde -- without a flying mount, this elder is a real beast to reach. You'll have to run in off the boat to Rut'theran Village, get past the guards, hang a left, and make a beeline for the Cenarion Enclave. This will keep you away from the most crowded area of Darnassus (insofar as any portion of Darnassus could be termed crowded). As long as you're on Teldrassil, keep heading east afterwards to talk to Elder Bladeleaf in Dolanaar. If you have a flying mount, simply fly up the side of Teldrassil after taking the ferry over from Darkshore.
- Bronzebeard the Elder 29,17 in the Mystic Ward of Ironforge. If you're Horde, hang a left after entering the city's front gates and drop down into the trench that runs the the length of The Commons -- this should get most of the guards off your tail. Keep going, and the first ramp up from the trench should put you within sight of Elder Bronzebeard. At this point, you can hearth (if possible), port to Moonglade using a scroll from a Festival Harbinger, or get to the Deeprun Tram so you can knock off the Stormwind elder without having to enter the city from the front gates or harbor.
- Hammershout the Elder This guy is much easier to reach now than he was in days past and can be located right outside the Stormwind gates.
Nowadays, it's a little more troublesome for Alliance to reach the Horde elders for Elders of the Horde than vice versa, and the odds of your attracting attention while doing at least the Orgrimmar leg is reasonably high. As with their Alliance counterparts, the Horde elders are simple to reach if you're Horde, so I'm writing this with an eye toward the difficulty of reaching them as an Alliance player.
- Darkhorn the Elder 52,59 close to the Undercity/Stranglethorn zeppelin tower. This one has always been the worst of the Horde elders to reach, and that hasn't changed in Cataclysm. Honestly, if you're on foot, this is an ugly, ugly trek. As always, you're probably best off zoning into Orgrimmar from the western gate if you're confined to a ground mount and riding in through the troll district. Your aim is to reach one of the elevators to the zeppelin/flight master plateau, which you can do by taking a left out of the troll district and then a right through the tauren district, or by taking a right out of the troll district and then a left down the ramp to an elevator. Once on the plateau, head for the eastern zeppelin tower. Try as I might, I cannot think of an easy or fast way to do this if you don't have a flying mount -- and even if you do, there are constant flying guard patrols right around the central portion of Orgrimmar anyway. I've heard other people suggest just taking the zeppelin from Undercity, which is pretty convenient as it does dump you right off where Elder Darkhorn is, but you will be swarmed by guards. On the bright side, once you've talked to Darkhorn, the worst part of your Elder meta is over.
- Wheathoof the Elder 72,23 on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff. This is an elder named for Ezra Chatterton, a young player who died in 2008 and was the first to receive a phoenix mount. Ezra Wheathoof is one of Blizzard's in-game nods to him (he's actually a copy of Ezra's character, Ephoenix), and you'll note he's the only elder to have a pet with him (not surprisingly, a phoenix). Because Thunder Bluff is usually deserted, you should encounter minimal player resistance, but you can still cut down on encounters with Horde players by using the northern elevator if you can't fly. Hang a quick left into the bridge building after you come up (mouse over the beam over the entrance to see where it goes to confirm you've got the bridge to Elder Rise), and head over; you'll see the elder to the left of the big druids' tent on Elder Rise. If you're getting harassed by Horde players or guards, you can jump off the Rise afterwards, although I recommend having a slow fall effect of some kind prepared so that you survive the jump. If you're flying, getting to Wheathoof will be absurdly simple -- just fly over to the Elder Rise and talk to him without ever getting off your mount.
- Darkcore the Elder 66,38 in the Ruins of Lordaeron above Undercity. This guy's easy to find, although with increased Horde traffic on the zeppelins during the Lunar Festival, the odds of running into high-level players getting on and off the elevators are decent. Ride or fly into the Ruins of Lordaeron above the city and keep going straight; you'll find the elder in the circular throne room along with the rest of the Lunar Festival NPCs.