There’s a reason people flock from all over the world to be together on New Year’s. It’s not because anyone wants to be crowded or cold or because they love a good porta-potty experience. Nobody likes those things. But we do crave the company of a mass amount of people as we celebrate the year to come. Maybe it’s because we feel an intense bond to the whole of humanity at year’s end — a kind of kinship with others as we step bravely into the future. Or maybe it’s just because partying our heads off as the ball drops is insanely fun.
On New Year’s Eve, we want to cheer in a crowd, toast with champagne, hug strangers (and maybe make out with them), and scream cathartically as the clock strikes midnight. In short, it’s a holiday during which it feels deeply wrong to be alone. But that doesn’t mean you need to race to NYC or Tokyo. You can throw a hell of a rager at your own home (and there’s a pretty convincing case to be made for doing so).
Even if you’re partying on a slightly smaller scale than Times Square, NYE is still a great time to go big. Let your house party pay homage to some of the wildest nights on earth by stealing inspiration from these epic bashes.
Full Moon Party NYE — Koh Phangan, Thailand
The monthly Full Moon Party on Thailand’s party island, Koh Phangan, that has become synonymous with freedom from inhibitions and basically complete debauchery. Every month it draws tens of thousands of young people to the beach to drink and do drugs and all sort of other things (some of these things involve fire). And New Year’s on the island is like Full Moon Party on steroids (or maybe the Red Bull they pump into their bucket drinks to keep you awake and partying all night). It’s a night where anything goes and party-goers decorate themselves head to toe in neon paint in hopes of having the wildest fun of their lives.
How to recreate the vibe at your party: Go for a full tropical theme and invite guests to wear flip-flops and beachwear. Buy lots of glow in the dark neon body paint and then spend the evening painting each other, everyone trying to top the other’s designs. Chug your red bull, alcohol surprises out of a bucket (it will be gross but you’ll stop tasting it after a while), turn on the black lights and dance all night long. No one is allowed to stop until the sun comes and all responsibility and “adulting” should be left at the door.
Prohibition NYE — Los Angeles, U.S.
Prohibition NYE is a giant 1920s themed party at Los Angeles’s Union Station that features various stages with musical acts, an open bar, burlesque, and wild costumes at every turn. Being that it is in LA, people go really all out on the dressing up. Basically, it’s the perfect excuse to look glamorous in a way you can never get away with in everyday life.
How to recreate the vibe at your party: A roaring 20s party may be the world’s best and most fun party theme and that’s ESPECIALLY true on NYE. So pour the champagne, send out those Gatsby invites, slap on a your fanciest duds, and try not to run over anyone with your car (like always take the fun theme parts and ignore the murder-y parts. Gatsby was just about parties, right?)