Hearth's Warming is an annual holiday in Equestria that celebrates its founding. It is similar to the real-world and referenced holiday of Christmas[note 1] in that it is celebrated during winter and has similar traditions including decorating trees and exchanging gifts.
Depiction in the series
The holiday's origins, glossed over in the earlier-released Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day (and its Ruckus Reader later version Twilight Sparkle's Special Lesson), are explored in the season two episode Hearth's Warming Eve and the season five episode Hearthbreakers.
Spike narrates through pageant retelling in the former episode and Applejack briefly explains in the latter episode that long ago, before the rule of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, Earth ponies, unicorns, and Pegasi were divided by hatred and cared only for the welfare of their own kind. In exchange for demanding food grown by the Earth ponies, Pegasi managed the weather and unicorns raised and lowered the sun and moon. However, the tense peace between the three tribes is broken by a mysterious blizzard.
With the Earth ponies unable to tend the land and the Pegasi and unicorns unable to stop the blizzard, the three tribes fight and argue even more, and the blizzard grows stronger. A summit between the three tribes' leaders is eventually held, but they are unable to reach an agreement. Chancellor Puddinghead and Smart Cookie of the Earth ponies, Commander Hurricane and Private Pansy of the Pegasi, and Princess Platinum and Clover the Clever of the unicorns set out to find a new land.
When the three pairs all meet in the same place, they argue over whom had first stake over the new land, and another blizzard starts as a result. The six ponies take shelter in a cave, but Puddinghead, Hurricane, and Platinum are eventually frozen in ice. Clover the Clever identifies the cause of the blizzard to be windigos—winter spirits that feed on hatred.
Despite the animosity between their leaders and tribes, Smart Cookie, Private Pansy, and Clover the Clever maintain warm relations, and they eventually break the windigos' spell through the Fire of Friendship. Their warmth thaws their leaders' bodies and melts their hearts, and the leaders decide to share the new land, naming it Equestria.
Some of the holiday's later history is explored via storybook in the season six episode A Hearth's Warming Tail. A unicorn named Snowfall Frost hates Hearth's Warming and carries out a plan to erase the holiday from existence. Before she can do so, she is visited by three spirits who show her the past, present, and future respectively.
Realizing the effects her actions could potentially have on Equestria, Snowfall vows to change her ways and learns to appreciate the value of Hearth's Warming Eve.
Hearth's Warming Eve
The day before Hearth's Warming is referred to as Hearth's Warming Eve. It is traditionally celebrated with a pageant that reenacts the tale of Equestria's founding. According to Rarity in the season two episode, towns all over Equestria put on their own pageants, the one in Canterlot being the largest.
Several members of the Mane Six tell about their own Hearth's Warming Eve traditions in Hearthbreakers:
- Twilight Sparkle and Spike exchange gifts the night before Hearth's Warming.
- Applejack and her family have a traditional dinner "to remember the shared bounties of [their] ancestors" and hang crocheted dolls over the fireplace (a tradition shared by many other ponies).
- Pinkie Pie and her family's traditions are similar to Applejack's, but their dinner consists only of bland rock soup, and they carve Hearth's Warming dolls from rocks.
Hearth's Warming Day
The day of Hearth's Warming is typically celebrated by exchanging and opening presents and raising a flag in honor of the first flag of Equestria sewn by Nimble Thimble.
According to Applejack, the flag is traditionally raised by the youngest family member. In Pinkie Pie's family, the one who raises the flag is decided through a "flag finding mission", and they hide presents for their recipients to find.
The second part of IDW's trade paperback My Little Pony: Pageants and Ponies is a comic book adaptation of the episode Hearth's Warming Eve.
In the My Little Pony Holiday Special, Twilight Sparkle and Spike are snowed in at a Canterlot train station on Hearth's Warming Eve, so they pass the time by reading Hearth's Warming storybooks.
In My Little Pony Holiday Special 2017, Flim and Flam arrive in Ponyville to sell their holiday-themed merchandise (intending on extending Hearth's Warming throughout the entire winter season so they can make even more money). Twilight and Applejack manage to get the brothers to leave town, and are briefly shunned by their friends and family for doing so. But their friends and family ultimately apologize, and they all spend the holiday together.
In the first story of My Little Pony Holiday Special 2019, Rarity-accompanied by Spike-attempts to attend Hearth's Warming parties in Canterlot, Manehattan, and Ponyville, but ends up being unable to spend quality time at any of the events. She apologizes to Spike and the others, realizing that holiday moments, like friendships, need full attention to be made meaningful. The others agree with this sentiment, though they also note that it's impossible to be with all your friends all the time, and best friends will understand if you want to spend holiday time with others. In the second story, the Young Six are distracted by the coming Hearth's Warming Break, but are later scared by Pinkie Pie's account of the Krumple Horn.
The Little, Brown and Company storybook My Little Pony: Holly, Jolly Harmony is a children's book adaptation of Hearth's Warming Eve. The storybook My Little Pony: The Reason for the Season is a children's book adaptation of Hearthbreakers.
In Gameloft's mobile game, seasonal quests themed around Hearth's Warming were made available during holiday updates in December 2012, December 2013, and December 2014. "Lyra & Bon Bon Save Hearth's Warming Eve: Dr. Whooves has opened a portal to the past, to observe the Hearth's Warming Eve legend. But things went awry and he accidentally released the Windigos! Only Bon Bon and Lyra can come to the rescue and send back the Windigos before they ruin the holidays for everypony!" There is also a house in Canterlot called the Hearth's Warming House, where Noteworthy and Cherry Berry live.
- Gameloft (2017-12-06). my little pony: magic princess. App Store. Apple. Retrieved on 2017 December 7.