[[Wintersday]] is coming, and for the first time ever the [[Eye of the North]] will be taking part in the festivities. The Ebon Vanguard's tower stronghold will be decorated for the season (along with [[Lion's Arch]], [[Kamadan]], [[Droknar's Forge]], and [[Ascalon City]]), but visitors can enjoy a lot more than just the spectacular scenery. This year's festival includes some of the most popular events, quests, and goodies from past Wintersday celebrations, plus a whole host of new things to discover, including brand new NPCs, quests, rewards, and a special holiday PvP tournament.
Most of the [[Ebon Vanguard's]] officer class is off-duty and out celebrating, so the Eye of the North itself has been left in the capable hands of Lt. Thackeray. A driven, disciplined soldier, Thackeray is quickly making a name for himself as one of the Ebon Vanguard's elite reconnaissance rangers. He's also determined to spread holiday cheer throughout the Eye of the North, and provide a bit of comfort and respite to his fellow soldiers…especially [[Gwen]], who is feeling a bit melancholy this Wintersday.
Thackeray will provide new quests, items, and collector NPCs that are specific to the Eye of the North, so you'll need access to this area to participate—don't miss out on the new [[tonics]] and [[summoning stones]]! Of course, there will also be new things to discover all over the world, and everyone who participates in the grand finale inside Lion's Arch and Kamadan will get some spiffy new hats. The Wintersday [[candysmiths]] make their triumphant return, as will the [[polar bear mini-pet]]. In Lion's Arch, Kamadan, Droknar's Forge, and Ascalon City, you can try your hand at distributing gifts to the children, or if you're feeling [[grentch-y]], you can try to destroy the gifts before the children get them. There will be a lot more action in the [[Snowball Arena]] before the traditional finale battle between the followers of [[Dwayna]] and the followers of [[Grenth]] to determine which god will control the weather during the coming months. Also, for the first time ever, players can experience 8v8 ATS-style Snowball Tournaments!
Wintersday events begin at noon Pacific Time (-8 GMT) on Friday, December 19, 2008 and run until noon on January 5, 2009. The Wintersday grand finale will take place on Wintersday itself in Lion's Arch and Kamadan, beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific on Thursday, January 1, 2009, and repeating every three hours until 12:01 AM on Friday, January 2, 2009.
Mark your calendars and make plans to join Lt. Thackeray for this year's Wintersday extravaganza!