Animal Crossing: New Horizons New Year's event — Fireworks, countdown, New Year's items, and more

Animal Crossing New Years
(Image credit: iMore)

It's hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close. What better way to celebrate than by playing one of the best Nintendo Switch games? Within Animal Crossing, you'll experience a countdown followed by a fireworks display and will have the option to purchase festive items to celebrate with your villagers. Here's everything you need to know about celebrating the Animal Crossing New Year. 

When does the Animal Crossing New Year's event start?

(Image credit: Source: iMore)

The Animal Crossing New Year's festivities start on December 31st at 5 AM your local time, Tom Nook and Isabelle can be found wandering around the Resident Services plaza preparing for the night's activities. However, the big celebration won't start until 11 PM and the fireworks don't begin until midnight.

Resident Services is closed for the day since these two are busy with preparations.

What to do for Animal Crossing New Year's event

Start the event off right by talking to Tom Nook and Isabelle. Nook will give you five poppers to celebrate with while Isabelle will give you a light stick to wave around. You can make things more fun by dressing up in festive clothes to celebrate the coming year. All of the fun little details are one of the reasons this is one of the best Nintendo Switch games out there. 

Countdown and fireworks

(Image credit: Source: iMore)

A large countdown timer appears in front of Resident Services at the start of the day. When only one minute remains to midnight, all of your island's villagers will gather around to watch the remaining amount of time tick by. When only 10 seconds remain, they'll begin waving their light sticks about. Now's the time to pull out your own light stick or prepare to use your poppers.

Vibrant fireworks light up your island's sky from 12 AM to 2 AM. This is the perfect time to take fun pictures with your favorite villagers. By the way, if you talk to them while they're celebrating in the plaza, your villagers might just tell you their hopes, dreams, and resolutions for the new year.

Animal Crossing New Year's items

(Image credit: Source: Nintendo)

Tom Nook runs a stand during the festivities where players can purchase special hats for 500 Bells or five-packs of poppers for 300 Bells. The thing is, the hats come in two different styles — a pointed party hat or a colorful top hat — and these hats come in four different colors each. However, Nook will only sell one hat type. You'll either need to trade with friends or wait for the next New Year's event to obtain the rest of the hat variations.

(Image credit: Source: iMore)

Several New Year's items are available for purchase from Dec 26th - Dec 31st. To access them, use the Nook Shopping app, select the Special Goods option, and then go to the Seasonal tab.

Animal Crossing New Year's Eve items: Dec 26 - Dec 31

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sparkling cider1,000 Bells
Twleve-grape dish1,200 Bells
Berliner1,200 Bells
New Year's noodles1,300 Bells

As with all Nook Shopping items, these things take a day to arrive so you'll need to purchase them before the 31st if you want to use them to celebrate the new year in-game.

Animal Crossing New Year's items Jan 1 - Jan 15

These items can be purchased from the Nook Shopping app from Jan 1st - Jan 15th. Some of these items are traditional for certain places around the world. Read the chart to learn more.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Celebratory Arch 2,022 BellsFun balloon decorations with the new year on it. We see what you did there with the price, Nintendo.
Kadomatsu 2,580 BellsA traditional Japanese New Year decoration placed in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits.
Kagami Mochi 1,800 BellsAnother traditional Japanese New Year decoration made up of two mochi placed on top of each other with a leaf on top.
New Year's Shimekazari 2,000 BellsJapanese New Year decorations that prevent bad spirits from entering your homes while inviting good gods to enter.
Olivier Salad 1,000 BellsA popular European dish usually made with potatoes, carrots, green peas, cucumber, eggs, celeric, onions, chicken, and apples. It's traditionally served as one of the main dishes during New Year's Eve.
Yut Nori 1,300 BellsA traditional board game from Korea that is popular to play during the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Zodiac Animal Figurine 1,600 BellsEach year a different animal figurine is available depending on what creature's turn it is in the Chinese Zodiac.

Make sure to grab these special items while you can! The Zodiac figurine and the special balloon arch are especially more difficult to get if you don't nab them at the right time.

Animal Crossing New Year

It's time to countdown the remaining hours of the year with your favorite villagers. Enjoy the fireworks and have fun waving around your light sticks!

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.