The Ludi Harpastum (Latin:
The Ludi Harpastum is known for having 15 days of games and joy, the most famous festival among the children. The Ludi Harpastum is a carnival of songs, wine and flight, which are the very things Mondstadt considers their trademarks. The champion of the games gets to choose a maiden who, at the climax of the festival, throws the Harpastum — a round ball wrapped up with red cloth — into the crowd. The one who picks it up will be blessed with a year of fortune and happiness.
However, by the time of Vennessa's rebellion a thousand years before Genshin Impact's main story, Barbatos had long departed to avoid becoming a tyrant like his predecessor, while the aristocracy that ruled Mondstadt grew corrupt and abused their power.
Under their reign, Ludi Harpastum was transformed into an event enjoyed only by the wealthy elites. The head of the Lawrence Clan, the foremost clan among the aristocracy, cared not for the enjoyment of the people and canceled all the games, leaving only the climax of the harpastum. However, only Lord Lawrence's son, Barca Lawrence, had the right to touch that harpastum. Anyone else who dared even approach the ball would immediately face torture. Furthermore, Barca was also given the rights to take the maiden who will throw the harpastum home.
When Venti (the form Barbatos takes while traveling the world) awakens to the pleas of those suffering under the aristocracy's tyranny, he arrives in Mondstadt during the climax of Ludi Harpastum. At some point in time, the aristocracy built a tall tower in the Anemo God Statue Plaza from which the maiden would throw the ball. Venti surmises it was for the maiden's safety due to the crowds, but how accurate this assumption was is unknown.
After Vennessa's rebellion and the banishment of the aristocracy, Ludi Harpastum was restored to its original glory, while the tower that the maiden would throw the ball from was dismantled.
The manga, which is set roughly a year before the game's main story, starts right before Ludi Harpastum begins. The Fatui are invited to attend, which prompts Dottore and Krupp's visit; meanwhile, Amber takes Collei around the festival after it begins.
- Ludi is Latin and refers to public games ("games" in a sense as in the Olympic Games) held during the Roman Republic and Empire. Harpastum (also known as harpasti ludus) is a kind of ball game played during the Roman Empire, which has some similarity to rugby and American football. It also refers to a handball (pl. harpasta). Since the genitive of harpastum is harpasti, in full Latin, the festival's name would have been Ludi Harpasti.
- The Chinese name 羽球节 Yǔqiú-jié literally translates to the "Feather-Ball Festival," but it can also mean "Badminton Festival." The mini-game Dodo-King's Painted Wall during the event Midsummer Island Adventure may be inspired by the wall drill of the latter sense, while the in-game story of its origin (related to the feather of a free bird given by Barbatos) may have followed the former sense.
- The Japanese version translates the Chinese word 羽球 yǔqiú as バドルドー badorudoo, a variant of バトルドー batorudoo, which is the transcription of battledore, the predecessor of modern badminton.