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The Pumpkin Moon is a Hardmode, post-Plantera, Halloween-themed event summoned with the Pumpkin Moon Medallion any time at night, ending at dawn (4:30 AM). It can be summoned any time of year and does not require the actual Halloween season. During the event, unique and highly difficult enemies spawn at high rates and attack the player. It is similar to the Frost Moon event, but is less difficult. Visually, the moon turns into a jack-o-lantern, though remaining in its current phase.
The entire event consists of 15 waves. Waves progress as the player reaches certain kill scores (though kill scores are not displayed to the player before wave 15). After a wave's required score is met, the next wave begins, and the kill score is reset to 0. Status messages will indicate when the wave has advanced, and which wave has been achieved. See the table below for the points awarded for each enemy and the score required for each wave.
The Pumpkin Moon event always ends at 4:30 AM. The goal of the event is to progress through all 15 waves before the event ends.
The Pumpkin Moon Medallion, which summons the Pumpkin Moon, requires materials only available in Hardmode worlds where the player has already defeated Plantera (although it can still be summoned in pre-Hardmode worlds). As such, it is intended to present a challenge even to players with mid-to-late Hardmode equipment. In the final waves, multiple boss-level enemies are fought at once.
Pumpkin Moon enemies drop powerful weapons and accessories, as well as pet and vanity items. Most drop with extreme rarity, and even players who manage to complete the event will find they need to do so several times before obtaining them. Drop chances for items dropped by bosses increase as waves are completed. In the final wave, the Mourning Wood and Pumpking are both guaranteed to drop their respective trophies.
Reaching the 15th wave before 4:30 AM will display the message “The spirit of Halloween penetrates the air...” at dawn (4:30 AM). For the entire day and night, all special effects of the Halloween season will occur. At 4:30 AM of the next day, the message “The spirit of Halloween rests...” will appear and all Halloween events will no longer occur until the Halloween season begins again or the player reaches the 15th wave of the Pumpkin Moon again. 
- Total points required to reach wave 15: 3410
- The maximum number of bosses at once depends on the wave. While this number is reached (or possibly exceeded, for example if the player manages to somehow reach wave 9 without killing two Mourning Woods from wave 6), no more of this type of boss will spawn.
- The Pumpkin Moon event will sometimes end after leaving and then reentering the world.
- Water Candles, Peace Candle, Battle Potions and Calming Potions have no effect during the event, as the same with some other events.
- If the player is killed during the event, the event is not canceled. The player will keep re-spawning and can continue fighting its enemies as the event continues until dawn. In single-player games, exiting the world and reloading it will cancel the event.
- The Pumpkin Moon does not stack with the Blood Moon. Summoning the Pumpkin Moon while a Blood Moon is active will result in a regular Pumpkin Moon.
- Summoning a Pirate Invasion during a Pumpkin Moon will cancel it.
- Lingering enemies beaten after the event is over will never drop any rare items.
- In Expert Mode, the drop rates are calculated as if they were five waves higher, meaning trophies and guaranteed rare drops will start from wave 10 onwards.
- Most enemies have a chance to drop hearts regardless of whether the player is below maximum health.
- Any boss enemies that are still on a player's screen by the time dawn breaks will begin to move rapidly in a single direction, rushing off-screen to despawn. It is still possible to pursue or even kill some bosses while this is occurring.
- Because spawn rates for areas where Pumpkin Moon enemies cannot spawn are also increased, a Pumpkin Moon can be used to farm for other items, e.g., Pirate Maps at the Ocean, while completely avoiding the Pumpkin Moon enemies.
- The early-wave Pumpkin Moon enemies are susceptible to the Ichor debuff, which makes a Flask of Ichor, Ichor Arrows or Bullets, or the Golden Shower very effective.
- Players should kill the enemies as soon as they spawn to ensure that more enemies can spawn continuously in order to increase the chances of reaching later waves.
- The Pumpkin Moon can be a great way to obtain a large amount of coins quickly.
- An area filled with traps could be useful to deal with the regular enemies while the player fights against the mini-bosses.
- Pumpking is the only boss in the event that flies consistently through blocks and cannot be confined. It behaves similarly to Skeletron, and has a similar size.
- Desktop 126.96.36.199: Reaching the end of the Pumpkin Moon unlocks one in-game day of the Halloween event.
- Desktop 188.8.131.52: Fixed invasion progress wrapping around to -32768 when exceeding 32767 points in multiplayer.
- Desktop 184.108.40.206:
- Desktop 1.2.2: Music from this event can now be recorded on a Music Box; they will no longer turn into Ankh Charms.
- Desktop 220.127.116.11: A brand new music track has been added to the game for the Pumpkin Moon Event (originally used the Eclipse theme prior to this update).
- Desktop 1.2.1: Introduced.
- Console 1.0.933.1: Made changes from Console 1.0.750.0. ()
- Console 1.0.750.0:
- Console 1.02: Introduced with music from Desktop 18.104.22.168.
- Switch 1.0.711.6: Introduced.
- Mobile 1.2.6508: Introduced with music from Desktop 22.214.171.124.
- 3DS-Release: Introduced with music from Desktop 126.96.36.199.