New Years Eve decorations are universal. The arrival of the New Year is celebrated all over the world as people come together in different settings to partake in this joyous and festive occasion.
For many, planning a New Year’s Eve party is on their agenda.
It merits proper planning and making sure all of the little details are tended to.
For others, ringing in the New Year comes with strings attached – resolutions.
The New Year spells a new beginning and a chance to wipe the slate clean.
Every year, some folks promise to lose weight, make amends with estranged family and friends, become more spiritual, exercise more, finish their to-do list, and so on.
Regardless of what your resolutions are for the New Year, there is one universal goal we all share: to make sure the New Year is celebrated in style and is as memorable as possible.
Below are some ideas for New Year’s Eve decorations to help you on your way to making your party decorative, festive, and fabulous.
New Year’s History
New Year’s Eve celebrations can be traced back to ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. During the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year commenced with the first New Moon, which was the first visible crescent after the Vernal Equinox (the first day of spring). The Babylonian New Year party lasted for eleven days and each day had its own mode of celebration.
Ringing in the New Year also dates back to an ancient Roman observance around the time of the Winter Solstice in December called Saturnalia.
This pagan holiday consisted of a very festive celebration.
Fast forward centuries later and we have a song that is common to all on New Year’s Eve. The custom of singing “Auld Lang Syne” goes back to the British Isles from the 18th century when guests ended a party by standing in a circle singing this song.
The custom was first rooted in Scotland since the lyrics were written by Robert Burns in 1788. In the Scottish dialect, “auld lang syne” means “old long ago.” The message being conveyed by the song is about love and friendship in times past.
Lastly, using noise to welcome the New Year has to do with how during ancient times, noise was used to ward off evil spirits. In Denmark, the New Year is welcomed by banging on the doors of neighbors and friends and throwing pieces of broken pottery against the sides of houses.
In Japan, “Oshogatsu” is their New Year and the celebration lasts for five to six days. On New Year’s Eve, shortly before midnight, Buddhist temples ring bells 108 times to remember the hardships that Japan has endured. This ritual is a way to send out the old year and welcome the new one.
Employees do not work on New Year’s Day and spend the day relaxing and celebrating with family by going to temples to pray for a prosperous and healthy New Year. The first visit to the temple is called “Hatsu Mohde,” which translates to “the first visit.” Also, dancers go from house to house making bizarre noises and pound on drums with bamboo sticks.
In many parts of the United States of America, firecrackers are used at the stroke of midnight to mark the New Year. This is also tradition in Viet Nam, Hawaii, and South America.
Also, in many parts of the U.S., some celebrate the New Year by eating black-eyed peas because they are considered good luck in many cultures. These legumes are usually accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. The hog symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is also considered a good luck vegetable and is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. The cabbage leaves are a sign of prosperity. In other regions, rice is eaten because it’s considered good luck.
New Year’s Party Themes
Here are some themes for your New Year’s Eve decorations:
- Animal Theme
- Fortune Telling
- Mardi Gras
- Murder Mystery
- Roaring ‘20s
- Wine Tasting
- Winter Wonderland
Most of these themes are self explanatory, but for the Winter Wonderland, you may wish to consider setting your table in winter white, along with dazzling silver accents, such as, silver confetti, silver candles, silver placemats, and silver napkins to add drama to the table and dinnerware.
Decorating a table will not only add elegance to the table, but will help tie in the rest of the decor in the room.
There are many fabulous things you can do to make the table(s) look fantastic, such as, adding a colorful tablecloth, along with accents and finishing decorative touches.
Having a lovely table setting will create that special ambiance your party deserves.
Table Cloth: You may opt to use a plastic or linen tablecloth in gold, black, silver, or any other color that suits your theme. If you are unsure as to what color to use, a safe bet is a white linen tablecloth.
You can find table skirts in different colors to complement your tablecloth.
Some even feature a design with stars, which adds holiday cheer.
Table Centerpiece: A table centerpiece creates a focal point for guests while bringing to life the intended theme.
It is a festive way to add beauty to the table and makes guests feel extra special.
You may adorn your tables with the following centerpieces:
- A black and gold star centerpiece
- A carnival mask (perfect for a Mardi Gras theme)
- A candle that color coordinates with your specific color theme and is set inside a lovely votive
- A gold or silver star balloon holder (tie a balloon to each one of these for that extra special touch)
- Inflatable champagne bottle
- Lanterns (excellent for a Western theme)
- A two-sided cardboard centerpiece featuring the King of Hearts (this will coordinate beautifully with a Casino theme)
- Playing Cards Fountain composed of 18” Mylar and adorned with playing cards and classic card symbols (ideal for a Casino theme)
- A clear vase filled with faux flowers and colorful confetti. The confetti can be used later for throwing to ring in the New Year.
- Timeless clock (12” diameter that is perfect for the buffet table)
- You may wish to consider incorporating funky party hats, tiaras, party poppers, noisemakers, and streamers on each table.
- Place tempting chocolate kisses around the centerpiece for guests to indulge in.
- Sprinkle colorful metallic confetti consisting of stars and top hats around the table for that extra shimmer.
You may color coordinate the paper plates, cutlery, and napkins.
Paper plates and napkins are also available with the words, “Happy New Year,” along with a fireworks display in the background.
Champagne glasses and goblets are available in clear plastic as well as in different colors. These products come in handy since it makes cleaning up easier.
A nice touch for chairs is to wrap a piece of colorful tulle around the backrest and tie a bow at the rear of the backrest.
This will make the chairs look absolutely lovely and it will blend in with the rest of the decor.
Another idea is to simply decorate the chairs based on the New Year’s party theme.
You may set the scene for your New Year’s Eve decorations by attaching lightweight plastic pieces on the wall consisting of a particular theme. These backgrounds are available in long vinyl rolls that are approximately 4’ high x 50’. This is a fun way to add a colorful background to your wall, which will definitely be a conversation piece.
- A blue background with white twinkle stars, colorful dots, and the word Disco interspersed throughout the background.
- Dancer silhouettes on a blue and confetti background, along with a colorful disco dance floor.
- A disco sign with disco records.
- One male dancer and one female dancer.
- A scene with the words, “Disco Fever.”
Decorating a ceiling gives the impression that the room has more height while adding instant pizzazz to the room.
Ceiling Stars and Swirls: You can hang ceiling stars and swirls in a metallic silver or gold color.
Disco Balls: You may wish to consider hanging two 31″ foil disco balls from the ceiling to give the feeling that you are at a disco dancing the night away.
Balloon Drop: A fabulous way to ring in the New Year is by setting up a net containing multi-colored balloons and dropping them at the stroke of midnight. A net can generally drop up to 100 balloons and adds excitement to your party. This will definitely wow your guests and make for unforgettable New Year’s Eve decorations. Your guests will feel as though they are celebrating New Year’s on Times Square.
A picture is worth a thousand words and what better way to capture happy moments with friends and your significant other than by having a picture taken in your very own photo booth.
As a backdrop, you may wish to display a lovely arch that has gold or silver tulle adorning the arch, along with clear Christmas lights intertwined for that magical effect.
Add a few stools to give guests the option of sitting, or if they prefer, they may stand for the photo.
Miscellaneous New Year’s Eve Decorations and Ideas
I thought it would be fun to include some ideas on a Fortune Telling theme. You may wish to consider placing a sign on the front door that reads, “Psychic Readings Inside,” along with a red light bulb for the porch light to add a dash of mysticism.
Add tea candle LED lights in every corner of the house for that bewitching effect. Great colors for furniture and table covers are bright purple, orange, red, and green.
Accessorize by decorating the tables with fake coins, charms, plastic gold necklaces, and a deck of Tarot cards.
Also, hang a poster with an image of the zodiac wheel, a poster of a black cat, or anything that gives it a gypsy like feel on the walls. Another nice touch is to hang strings of beads in every doorway to give the feeling of privacy.
To keep guests entertained, consider creating activities in different areas of the home. For instance, in the corner of the living room, you may wish to place a long table cloth over a round table, along with a crystal ball. You may wish to recruit an elderly lady dressed as a gypsy to sit beside the table and offer fortune telling services by doing crystal ball readings. She may also do palm readings and when finished, hand each guest a fortune cookie.
In another area of the house, you could incorporate pillows on the floor where guests may sit around a low table. You could place the Ouija board, playing cards, and books on palm reading, numerology, and tarot card reading for guests to refer to and try on one another. This is a great way for guests to interact.
For the kitchen area, you could hire a fortune teller to provide numerology readings. In the family room, a poker table could be set up and a friend may wish to volunteer as the dealer for guests to participate in a game of card playing. The winner gets a special prize.
Set up a Donation Table
You may wish to encourage guests to make a donation to the needy by setting up a donation table. Donations can consist of anything that isn’t perishable, such as, bringing a can of soup, a box of crackers, cereal, clothing, shoes, and other much needed items. Consider joining in the spirit of giving and lend a hand to those who are less fortunate.
As your guests say their goodbyes, you may wish to hand each of them a party favor as a souvenir.
This can be as simple as a white, silver, or gold gift bag containing a holiday card, votive candle, and chocolate truffles tucked inside.
And I bid thee farewell with a snippet from “Auld Lang Syne”
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!!