Destiny 2's The Dawning is this year's Christmas event, returning from the original Destiny.

Fans of SRL will be disappointed, with the event dropping Sparrow Racing League in favour of new Milestones for existing events, and the chance to give Gift Schematics to vendors for rewards in return.

There is, of course, a new cosmetic Dawning Engram, as with previous Destiny seasonal events.

While the rewards and consumables available are exclusive to the event, all (should!) be cosmetic in nature, ensuring that anything purchased with Silver (bought with real-world funds) or Bright Dust will not give paying players a real world advantage.

Destiny The Dawning end date

The Dawning started on Tuesday, December 19 and ends on Tuesday, January 9 on the weekly reset at the following times:

  • UK: 5pm (GMT)
  • Europe: 6pm (CEST)
  • East Coast US: 12pm (EDT)
  • West Coast US: 9am (PDT)

Destiny The Dawning Lanterns, Snowballs and other activities explained

Destiny 2's The Dawning is a little scaled down compared to previous years, dropping Sparrow Racing League and instead focusing on new modes and makeovers in existing parts of the game. The highlights include:

The Tower and The Farm makeovers with a new festive theme, piles of snow, and ice hockey in the hangar.


The Dawning lanterns decorate the social space as with previous holiday events. These have no purpose beyond being decorative, so collect them and release them into the sky whenever you're ready.

Here's a video by BecomingIncognito showing them in action:

Snowballs can be thrown by interacting with piles of snow found in social spaces, on planets in in Strikes. Throwing them will deal damage and stun enemies - or simply annoy other players.


Mayhem Crucible mode returns from the original Destiny, where abilities will recharge faster for a more manic competitive experience. You will play this as part of the 'Spreading Holiday Cheer' Milestone, so it's worth activating that before playing a few matches.


'Spreading Holiday Cheer' Milestone for completing Crucible Mayhem matches (the same amount as Call to Arms, which will also unlock at the same time) and then a handful of Strikes. Completing each one will give you a Dawning Engram. That's then the end - no elaborate quests like previous years. We suspect this will reset each week.

New Dawning Engrams feature themed consumables, ships, ghosts, sparrows and emotes. You can collect several for free with the Spreading Holiday Cheer Milestone - and one from Tess at the start of the event to kick the Milestone off - while every item will be available to purchase direct from Eververse directly with Bright Dust at some point during its weekly stock rotation.


A new Emblem that tracks the number of enemies defeated with snowballs. You'll pick this up at the start of the event by talking to Ikora.


Dawning Gift Schematics explained

One of the main activities over the event are Dawning Gift Schematics that can be collected once per day. These are fetch quests where you kill a number of specific enemies and / or collect various components to 'craft' gifts for vendors on a planet.


In return, you'll receive the 'A Gift in Return' package, giving you a selection of one of several unique items:


Your recipient in the Tower is random, and requires a specific number of items. We recommend doubling up your efforts by completing Milestones you've yet to finish that week to save you some effort.

Note that it appears you can skip a lot of the farming by moving items in and out of your vault, which the game will apparently count. (Thanks to mervhaw at the Destiny subreddit for the spot!)


Looking for more help? When you're not enjoying Destiny 2's The Dawning event, our Curse of Osiris guide and walkthrough can explain everything with the new expansion, including the new Eater of Worlds Raid Lair, how to get Lost Prophecy Forge weapons and the Lighthouse secret chest, activate the Mercury Heroic Public Event and get the many new Destiny 2 Exotics. We also dive into the new 330 / 335 max level cap in detail, what to spend Glimmer and Legendary Shards on, how Mods, Infusion, and Engrams work, plus a full walkthrough of the Destiny 2 Leviathan Raid.

Destiny The Dawning - what was it like in previously?

The last Dawning event run for two weeks from 2016 to 2017, and featured number of components, making it the biggest update to the game since Rise of Iron launched back in September.

Here are notes from the time:

Sparrow Racing League: The racing event will return with four tracks - two new, two returning from last year - and will live on in Destiny Private Matches when The Dawning is over. Each race will reward up to maximum Light-level gear and weapons, and as well as quests and bounties from Amanda Holliday, you can earn ranks with loot drops along the way.

Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring: This new feature will score you for killing enemies throughout SIVA Strike playlists and the weekly Nightfall Strike, and complete Bounties along the way. The score is shared as a team; streaks earn you more points, and higher scores earn a bronze, silver or gold medal rewarded at the end.

Get points for killing different enemies and earning streaks.

Revamped Strikes: As with The Taken King and Rise of Iron before it, The Dawning revamps several Strikes - The Nexus, The Will of Crota and The Shadow Thief - with new enemies, challenges and loot drops, just in time for Strike Scoring.

New Record Book: Just as you got your head around the Rise of Iron's Record Book, another comes along for The Dawning. The Competitive Spirit book is free for all Rise of Iron players, and offers challenges for both Sparrow Racing League and Strike Scoring - from hitting par times and high scores to completing a certain amount of Bounties - giving you something to aim for over the three week period. But if you don't finish it, it'll stick around once the event is over, too.

New Mystery Boxes and loot: As with other seasonal events, there will be new Sparrows, emotes, consumables such as shaders and emblems, and Treasures of the Lost mystery boxes available as rewards for finishing certain quests and for purchase from the game's vendor Tess Evris with Silver, the game's currency (which is purchased with real-world cash). We have more details about where to get free Boxes, as well as their contents, later in the article.

Players can also open free gifts in the Tower every day, located behind the Bounty board in the main opening area. These small presents consist of Motes of Light and planetary materials - at least based on the event's opening days - but are worth picking up for free goodies.

The smaller gifts replenish each day, while the biggies require Tags from the Competitive Spirit book to open.

Meanwhile - as with Festival of the Lost - there is a hidden Sparrow to find - the Lysander's Cry by locating a Bannerfall Ghost and searching the Tower.

New Exotics, Gear and Ornaments: Year 1 favourite Icebreaker will return as part of The Dawning, alongside new void and solar versions of Arc machine gun Thunderlord (named Nova Mortis and Abaddon respectively). Meanwhile, expect new Ornaments for Black Spindle, Icebreaker, Last Word, Red Death and Thorn.

Icebreaker is back for Year 3.

Smaller tweaks: Alongside all of the above, a patch will increase Skeleton Key drops (including a guaranteed drop from the first Nightfall run) and add new Skeleton Key loot; from level 40, all green Engrams to automatically be exchanged into materials; and new Ornaments to be sold from a vendor instead of from Xur each week.

Tower makeover: Finally, as with other events, there's a new festive makeover for the Tower.

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Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

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Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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