What is New Year?

New Year’s Eve is celebrated on the last day of the year. It celebrates letting go of the old year and welcoming the new one. In the Western Calendar New Year’s Eve is celebrated on the last day of December, but the time for it varies in different countries depending on the chronology being used. In China for example New Year’s is celebrated in the spring.

There are many fun traditions around the world on New Year’s. In Spain for example it’s traditional to put on red lingerie on New Year’s Eve and eat twelve grapes at midnight when the year changes. In the Philippines it is believed that round things bring prosperity to the new year, thus New Year’s is celebrated with everything round from clothing to catering.

New Year’s is celebrated in different ways around the world and it has established a lot of traditions in Finland as well. Traditionally Finns have celebrated New Year’s with different kinds of tests and charms that predict the upcoming year. Even nowadays it’s custom to predict and make promises for the new year. New Year’s Day is a national day off in many parts of the world.

We gathered some tips on how you can organize an amazing New Year’s Eve party that will be remembered long into the new year. So, pack up your Christmas gear to wait for next year, put on your best party mode and get ready to welcome the new year in an epic way!

Partyanimal pointer:

Christmas is all about being lazy and lounging on the couch all day. It’s fun but there’s a limit to everything and on New Year’s you’re usually just ready for some action. So, forget about everything related to Christmas at your party and pump up the party groove - nobody will want to leave this party before the next day!

Program for New Year’s

New Year’s Eve can be celebrated in many ways, but usually the celebration includes friends and family, eating and drinking well, fireworks and playful predictions for the upcoming year. A good program for a party looks and feels like the host and guests at the party. You should also take into consideration the time and space available. Some people head to the theater or opera for New Year’s Eve, but for most people the highlight of the celebration is a good oldfashioned house party where you can put on your bling and party hard until next year.

Traditional activities for New Year’s Eve are melting tin and shooting fireworks as well as toasts and kisses at midnight when the year changes. If you want to add more modern activities to your party, consider beer pong: a fun activity that guarantees a happy crowd! Another great activity is a drinking game called Never have I ever. In this game everyone says one thing they have never done. Whoever has done it has to drink.

Melting tin is a must at a New Year’s party. There are many beliefs related to this activity, but most of them have to do with predicting the upcoming year. Melting tin is a tradition in Europe and Scandinavia. The tins are usually shaped as horse shoes for good luck and they are melted in a ladle on the stove or fireplace. When the metal has melted you pour it into a bucket of cold water where it hardens. You can make a silent wish for the new year while you’re pouring the tin. Once the tin has set you take it out and try to analyze what it might mean. You can look at it as it is, but also put it in front of a candle or light and see the shadows it makes. There are a few symbols that have well known meanings: a ship predicts travels, a key success in work related things, roughness money and crumbling a broken heart.

Partyanimal pointer:

All the single ladies (and gentlemen): if you dip a napkin in the water used for melting tin and put it under your pillow, you will dream about your future spouse. The “tin” sold nowadays is not actually tin, but mostly lead, which means it should be disposed of accordingly and not thrown out with normal garbage.

Partyanimal pointer:

Create a hashtag for your party so your guests can tag pictures they post during the evening. If you’re having a great time with glow sticks be sure to tag #valotikutfi as well!

New Year’s Eve events in Finland

Watching and shooting fireworks is one of the most visual ways of celebrating New Year’s. There are many New Year’s events around Finland and most cities organize a big firework show. In the capital city Helsinki there is a New Year’s event on the famous Kansalaistori. The event includes fun activities for families and an early fireworks show for kids. In the evening there is a party for adults with music, dancing and a big firework show at midnight. Many neighbourhoods also provide safe spaces to shoot fireworks on your own.

In Turku the new year has traditionally been welcomed with a spectacular firework show and fun program at Tuomiokirkontori. Jyväskylä also organizes a great celebration: fun activities for families and the city’s official New Year’s Eve event with music and fireworks. Both events take place at the event square in Kirkkopuisto. In Oulu there are fireworks traditionally at Kauppatori.

A lot of people choose to shoot fireworks themselves if they don’t have the opportunity to go watch public firework shows. A good idea is to organize fireworks to your party potluck style: every guest brings a firework of their choice. This way you will have a colorful and unique firework show! There are a few things to take into consideration while shooting fireworks: you should always shoot them away from people and buildings, wear appropriate protective gear and clean up after you’re done. Don’t forget common sense! If fireworks are not your thing, you can change them to party lights and polycarbonate products that will last for several years.

What to serve on New Year’s?

The menu for New Year’s Eve can be basically anything: cocktail appetizers, a buffet or a fancy sit down dinner. New Year’s classic foods in Finland are sausages and potato salad, which also serve as a great latenight snack if your guests get hungry in the late hours of your party.

If you want to organize a party with cocktail style foods, make sure you plan the menu so that everything is finger food. This way your guests won’t be tied up to sit at their tables but can move around and socialize during the meal. Try out these tasty cocktail treats for a New Year’s party. A buffet style dinner is also great as guests can choose their meal from various options as they like. If you’re planning on feeding a bigger crowd, it’s good to use a caterer so you don’t have to stress out about cooking and can focus on entertaining your guests and enjoying the party.

If you really want to impress and serve a sitdown dinner with multiple courses, it’s good to plan your menu so that each dish complements the others. Wintery flavors paired with fresh and vibrant drinks bring a touch of class to your party. You can grab some ideas for your New Year’s party menu here. Be sure to have snacks available all throughout the evening. Nuts, chips, fruits and vegetable sticks with dip are good options. A hangry guest is the biggest party pooper for everyone!

A New Year’s dessert should be light as a sugar rush or a too heavy end to a meal can knock your guests out before the year changes. What would be worse than napping through the most important moment of the evening? So, stick to light and fresh desserts like sorbets and ice creams. If you want to do something a little different, you can prepare coffee based drinks like Irish Coffee or Mexican Coffee for dessert. It’s good to have coffee available throughout the evening so your guests can grab a little caffeine in case they start to get tired. Make some coffee into a thermos and be sure to have some ingredients available for coffee based drinks - your guests will stay perky all night. If instant relief is needed: Hot Shots all around!

It’s popular to organize a brunch on New Year’s Day to gossip about the events of the previous night and finalize promises for the new year. The year will have a wonderful start when you spend its first day chilling with friends. It’s been said that if the first guest of the year is male, you will have good luck for the whole year. So, choose your friends wisely! A brunch is perfect for a potluck since no one will have to take full charge of cooking and everyone gets to taste something new.

Partyanimal pointer:

Many of us might have a headache and not feel that well on New Year’s Day. A fresh fruit plate with bacon provides everything a party animal needs the day after: vitamins, hydration and satisfaction to hangover cravings!

Partyanimal pointer:

If you’re planning on feeding a larger number of guests it’s better to use disposable plates and cutlery. This way you will avoid a massive mountain of dishes and the stress of dishes breaking at the party or not having enough dishes for everyone.

New Year’s drinks: cocktails or punch?

New Year’s wouldn’t be New Year’s without bubbly and sparkly drinks. But what else can you serve to get your guests in the right party mood? Punch is always an easy and safe choice. If you want to go an extra mile you can choose a few cocktails and serve them at your party. Tasty cocktails are for example caipirinha and frozen cosmopolitan. Remember to decorate your cocktails with palm tree parasols and other drink decorations for an extra nice touch.

A fun idea is to have a potluck bar: if you bring something to the bar you can also drink from it. The host will provide the bar equipment, fruits and sodas for the drinks, the guests will bring other ingredients by their own taste. It’s wise to have a good home bar kit to mix the drinks with. You can attach some recipes for drinks to you bar (there are some recepies included in the home bar kit) or let your guests’ creativity fly. A fun activity for the evening is to ask everyone to create a signature cocktail!

Champagne and sparkling wine are New Year’s classics that are often consumed during toasts throughout the evening. Be sure to stock up on enough champagne so you’ll avoid the disaster that it will be out by midnight, the most important toast of the evening. One 0,75 litre bottle provides about six servings.

Remember to also have beer and non-alcoholic options available. A good idea to keep your guests hydrated and up all night is to make some flavoured water by adding lime, lemon or cucumber into a bottle of water.

Partyanimal pointer:

Knives and drinking are not always the best combination. Prepare fruits for your cocktails in advance and you’ll avoid someone accidentally cutting their finger and trips to the emergency room.

Dress code for New Year’s

Usually it’s accustomed to wear cocktail dresses and nicer outfits at New Year’s Eve parties, but it really is up to the nature of the event you’re going to. One thing is for sure: on New Year’s you’re allowed to shine and be dazzling! You can get an extra glow to your outfit with some glow jewellery or glow sticks. Create your own catwalk look with some glow sticks and connectors! Glow sticks work especially well as a "wow" factor of the dance floor.

Many choose to spend New Year’s at home and in that case a casual and cozy outfit will do. You can bring a touch of party to a casual outfit with glow sticks and glow jewellery. If you end up getting your groove on and heading out, these accessories will work great with a more festive outfit as well. A party package makes sure your whole crew will be glowing on New Year’s!

Usually there isn’t a very tight theme around New Year’s parties, but you can always come up with one if you want. A theme unites guests and brings something interesting to dressing up. The theme doesn’t have to be difficult and it can focus on for example a color. Great New Year’s themes are black&white, glitter, The Great Gatsby or themes related to different eras like the 80’s and 90’s.

Décor for New Year’s

Playing around with lights is the best décor for a New Year’s party. Despite the theme, time or place, lights will give your party a definite bonus, so be sure to focus on them in your décor. In addition to lights giving a good vibe, you can also see fireworks better when the basic household lighting isn’t on. Here are a few tips on good lights for your party:

Combined UV and disco light with remote control

This disco light combines everything a good party light should include: RGB colors and a UV light. The light is controlled with a remonte control. The lights can be programmed to for example switch between certain colors or flash to the beat of music with the help of a built-in-microphone.

Plasma plate 30cm

This beautiful plasma plate is a eye-catcher for sure! The plate has an integrated microphone which makes the lights react to sound and flash to the beat of the bass. The plate also reacts to touch. This plasma plate is great for parties and everyday decor.

Discoball with an engine and leds

A quality discoball set that you can attach to the ceiling in place of a normal lamp. The motor spins the ball around and the lights flash to he beat of the music thanks to an integrated microphone. What would a party be without a disco ball?

Start your New Year in style

Midnight is the most important moment of the evening and your New Year’s party: full on fireworks, lots of champagne and well wishes for the new year. It’s a tradition to kiss once the clock strikes twelve as it’s believed to bring good luck to the new year. If fireworks aren’t your cup of tea, you can also celebrate this moment with confetti guns.

On New Year’s many of us ponder on the past year: what went well, what didn’t? Were promises fulfilled or failed? No need to go too deep because you can’t change the past. You can instead decide to make the upcoming year even better than the last one. The most important thing is that you enjoy life and are ready for the adventures of the new year!