The Lunar Revel is an event based on the Lunar New Year in the Asian Lunar calendar. It has been celebrated in the League of Legends world since 2011. It started on February 1, 2011, and was accompanied by the release of . Next year the event was released in full force with new skins and the temporary renaming and replacement of pictures of several consumable items.
Lunar New Year is an annual festival still popularly celebrated in East Asian cultures, like Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Every lunar new year corresponds with the symbolic animal of the Chinese zodiac. The Lunar Revel skins also reflect that animal of the year accordingly. For example:
The twelve-sign Shang cycle originally depicted twelve lunar phases, after the shape of the moon's sunlit portion; animals would later be added as mnemonics, as some signs' names resemble animal names in extinct southern languages; for instance:
- For more in-depth look, see Lunar Revel skins
Since 2011, new champion skins have been released to celebrate Lunar Revel. Unlike other events (e.g. the Harrowing or Snowdown Showdown) the release of Lunar Revel skins began as permanent additions to the store. 2014 was an exception with the new skins for and being classified as legacy skins, while skin remained a permanent item in the store.
List of all Lunar Revel Champion skins:
- 2011 Lunar Revel (Year of the Rabbit) (Permanent)
- 2012 Lunar Revel (Year of the Dragon) (Permanent)
- 2013 Lunar Revel(Year of the Snake) (Permanent)
- 2014 Lunar Revel (Year of the Horse)
- 2015 Lunar Revel (Year of the Goat) (Permanent)
- 2016 Lunar Revel (Year of the Monkey)
- 2017 Lunar Revel (Year of the Rooster) (Legacy)
- 2018 Lunar Revel (Year of the Dog) (Legacy)
- 2019 Lunar Revel (Year of the Pig)
- 2020 Lunar Revel (Year of the Rat)
Lunar Revel events in the past have included, but are not limited to:
- Delectable editions of your favorite in-game consumables
- Decorative ward skins to brighten up the map
- Festive summoner icons to show off to your friends and teammates
- New login screens with music and animation to get you in the mood of the new year
The following items received new temporary names and icons to celebrate the festivities:
For each Lunar Revel event, there are new summoner icons that one can obtain by various means during the event. For more information on these icons click here. Below is a gallery of all Lunar Revel icons:
For the 2013 Lunar Revel event, Riot released two ward skins to kick off the celebration for the year of the serpent. These ward skins were free to use throughout the duration of the event.
In 2014, Riot created two more festive ward skins in cerebration for the year of the horse. In addition, the previous year's ward skins returned for the even. Like in 2013, all ward skins were free to use during the even, but they were also put on sale for640 to be able to use them on a permanent basis.
Light over dark: Creating Lunar Revel’s triptych
The origins of Lunar New Year are slightly different depending on who you ask. But most versions involve a giant monster named Nian (“year” in Chinese). The story goes that, threatened by Nian, a village pounded on drums and lit fireworks to scare the beast away. Fast forward a few thousand years or so and most modern Lunar New Year celebrations still pay homage to the fireworks and thunderous celebration that spooked Nian, including League of Legends’ Lunar Revel celebration.
This year with Lunar Revel, we wanted to dive a little deeper into these core mythical elements of Lunar New Year and create something new and exciting for players to explore.
- More than lanterns
“When we were looking back at previous Lunar Revels, it was like ‘Oh, red, gold, lanterns,” says art lead Lisa Thorn. “It didn’t have much of a narrative arc.” The team behind Lunar Revel worked to weave specific Lunar Revel themes into this year’s experience, focusing on the battle between light and dark and the idea of starting the new year with an optimistic outlook. Creating a massive triptych (a single image spread across three panes or frames) and using it to craft a Lunar Revel story felt like a great way to communicate these themes while still giving the new skins room to shine.
The team explored a huge range of art styles and gathered voluminous examples of Chinese art as it searched for the perfect Lunar Revel idea. “We started looking into traditional Chinese art, and that was sort of the moment where we thought, ‘Okay, triptychs are really cool,’” says Thorn. “It felt traditional and respectful, but also super unique from what we’ve done in the past.”
Senior concept artist Suke says, “We really wanted to show more respect for the mythology and culture that inspires this event.” Suke skipped over Chinese art tropes like bold reds, wispy dragons, and glowing lanterns. “I played with different colors and techniques. The gold foil, for instance, is more contemporary, but the clouds and lines are more traditional. We were really trying to mix classical and modern elements into the triptych without leaning on tropes.”
- The story of the skins
The Lunar Revel triptych is more than a pretty picture. It tells the story of this year’s Revel and the skins that accompany it. “I think this is one of the first times we’ve done a single illustration that tells a full story,” says Thorn. “Everything we did for Lunar Revel is focused on the idea of light vs. dark. It’s more than Wukong in a badass pose, and the triptych is the most obvious representation of the theme.”
Writer Matthew 'Popstar Urf' Manarino explains, “Caitlyn and Morgana’s designs are based on demons common to Chinese mythology. Wukong’s design is based on the idea of the radiant hero who always bests these demons in famous Chinese myths.” With the triptych, says Manarino, the Lunar Revel team was able to capture the darkness of the demons and the radiance of Wukong, while creating a legend that ties all the skins together and pays homage to their influences.
Telling the light vs. dark story also helps add meaning to the way people experience the skins. “I think it’s so cool that we’re introducing the skins with an epic story this time,” says Thorn. “We’re trying to evolve Lunar Revel and connect it to deeper themes rooted in cultural mythology.” She continues, “It’s really compelling to be a part of a fantasy with meaningful characters.
That’s not to say there’s nothing for fans of old-school Lunar Revel skins to enjoy. Suke says, “There are references to champions of previous years and their Lunar Revel skins -- we put a lot of effort into small touches that make the image more meaningful to all of our Lunar Revel champs and the players who love them.” Players who look closely will find Lunar Revel favorites like Firecracker Jinx and Dragonwing Corki tucked away in different parts of the image.In the end, the team is hopeful the triptych provides something players can enjoy beyond the expected Lunar Revel stuff. Says Thorn, “We hope it’s meaningful in addition to being cool. We want players to have fun exploring it and finding its secrets, and to enjoy the story it tells: light always wins out over dark.”
|Lunar Revel 2012 Theme|
|Lunar Revel 2013 Theme (Panda Annie Login)|
|Lunar Revel 2014 Theme|
|Lunar Revel 2015 Theme|
|Lunar Revel 2016 Theme|
|Lunar Revel 2017 Theme|
- Smith, J. The 'Di Zhi' 地支 as Lunar Phases, p. 205
- Blench, R. "The origin of nominal affixes in MSEA languages". Mainland Southeast Asian Languages: The State of the Art in 2012. (2012). p. 6
- Schuessler, A. ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese, p. 191
- Smith, p. 209
- Lunar Revel 2014 Promo page
- Lunar Revel 2015 Promo page
- Lunar Revel 2016 Promo page 1
- Lunar Revel 2016 Promo page 2
- Lunar Revel 2017 Promo page
- Lunar Revel 2018 Promo page
- Lunar Revel 2019 Promo page
- Light over dark:Creating Lunar Revels triptych