I was naturally drawn to gold as the main element for my family’s New Year’s Eve celebration. It is a typical color seen at New Year’s Eve parties across America, but why? After a little online research, I determined that the use of gold stems from several different cultures and beliefs. Most believing that gold brings luck and/or wealth in the new year.
- gold brings LUCK
- Many cultures even eat food resembling gold to ensure a lucky year. In the American south, it is tradion to eat black eyed peas because they resemble gold ingots, cornbread because it is the color of gold and cooked greens because they are the color of cold hard cash. (10 Global New Year’s Eats, CNN)
- Wearing yellow underwear in Venezuela is considered lucky because yellow is the color of gold. (New Year’s Traditions Around the World, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Several cultures bake a King Cake with a hidden coin (gold or silver). The person that finds the coin is said to be lucky in the new year. I remember eating extra helpings of King Cake growing up, but never managed to be the one that found that coin!
- gold brings PROSPERITY
- Remember those king cakes? The person that finds the coin or figurine will also have a prosperous year!
- gold brings HAPPINESS
- Whether it is gold citrine crystal or the actual metal, it has been revered through the ages and brings people happiness to hold it.
- gold is a TRADITION
- Gold is a traditional decor element for Chinese New Year. Perhaps Americans first saw it during the California Chinese New Year parade that started in the 1860’s during the gold rush. (Chinese New Year, Wikipedia)
- A saying of Chinese New Year’s: 金玉滿堂 Jīnyùmǎntáng – may your wealth (gold and jade) come to fill a hall. (Chinese New Year, Wikipedia)
- gold is INDULGENT
- Gold is a valuable material and makes any party feel indulgent and exceptional… possibly influenced by 3 CE Roman Saturnalia wild merriment parties? (Saturnalia, Wikipedia)
- gold is a GIFT fit for a queen
- Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) was a major supporter of traditional gift giving to the royalty for New Years. She would keep intricate lists of who gave her what. She particularly liked receiving gold (along with jewels, obviously). Our English ancestors brought the tradition of New Years gift giving to America, perhaps the lavish gifts of gold lingered in their minds. (The Origin of New Year’s Eve Traditions, Welcome to Christmas in Sanctuary)
- gold is GLAMOROUS
- Modern New Years celebrations seem to be about celebrating successes, forgetting failures and starting fresh in the new year with new hopes and goals… but until dawn arrives, celebrating with glitz and glamour is priority.
Obviously, I decided to stick with the color gold for my party since it was going to bring me so much luck in 2016! However, I needed another element to make my party a little more exciting. I was already planning on incorporating balloons, since they are such an easy way to make a space look festive… ah ha! Balloons = festive = celebration! Perfect! I decided to combine festive elements we traditionally see during a variety of celebrations:
That all equals party, right!? To recreate fireworks, I decided washi taped abstract bursts would be the perfect temporary art piece for the wall above my table. I had seen a taped wall design done really well by Molla Mills a while ago. The application has always been in the back of my mind for an easy and bold way to add an interesting piece into a temporary space like a nursery or short-term apartment… or party decor! My New Year’s Eve party would be the perfect celebration to give this technique a try.
Since we were not planning a dinner for our celebration, I wanted to keep the table casual and scattered. Without designated eating spaces, the table runner placement naturally led to an angular arrangement. Spacing the balloons, flowers and New Year’s paraphernalia as if they had just been tossed there gave the table a festive and spontaneous appearance. It made the space feel like the party commenced hours ago and casually welcomed newcomers to nibble, sip and enjoy.
Cheers and may gold fill your hall! Happy New Year!
You may have noticed I did not write about lifestyle art in this post. Although, I LOVED my washi tape wall art and thought my table was New Years perfection, I didn’t feel it was quite lifestyle art. Obviously, each project will vary and will be a unique outcome. I put all I can into each!
Credit + Components
- design – Erin Catlin
- photos – Erin Catlin & Andy Bettino
- washi tape fireworks – Erin Catlin
- sequin tablecloth – Erin Catlin
- balloons – Erin Catlin (latex 9″ white balloons, gold and white twine, gold fringe)
- table runners – Nate Berkus, Target
- hooray! confetti party crackers – Meri Meri, Paper Source
- caramelized onion dip – Adriene, Food 52
- crudités with feta pistachio dip – Sara Jenkins, Food 52
- cheese + meat platter
- entremets – Vanille Patisserie
- cocktail – Citrus 75
- mocktail – lime juice, blood orange sparkling water, garnished with orange
- Brunner, Borgna. New Year’s Traditions. Infoplease. Web 26 Dec. 2015, <www.infoplease.com>
- Chinese New Year. Wikipedia. Web 30 Dec. 2015. <www.wikipedia.com>
- Clanton, Nancy. New Year’s Traditions Around the World. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Web 26 Dec. 2015. <www.AJC.com>
- Klundt, Amanda. 10 Global New Year’s Eats. CNN. Web 30 Dec. 2015. <www.cnn.com>
- The Origin of New Year’s Eve Traditions, Welcome to Christmas in Sanctuary. Web 30 Dec. 2015. <www.digitalgothic.net>
- Saturnalia, Wikipedia. Web 30 Dec. 2015. <www.wikipedia.com>