Get us in your inbox


See the sunburst crystals that adorn the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball this year

The new crystals are meant to symbolize happiness.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

As the ball in Times Square descends this New Year's Eve, it'll be covered with about 200 Waterford Crystal triangles etched with sunbursts.

For the past eight years, Waterford Crystal has designed a new triangle each year under the umbrella of its "Greatest Gift" series. Last year, the triangles featured pineapples for 2020 to represent "The Gift of Goodwill" — concern and support for others.

This year's new triangles have sunbursts, which represent "The Gift of Happiness," according to Tom Brennan, Waterford Crystal’s master artisan.

RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve in Times Square will be different this year

"In each corner, there's a starburst, like a morning sunrise, to symbolize a new beginning and the gift of happiness," Brennan told us. 

times square ball waterford crystal
Photograph: Courtesy Waterford Crystal / Matthew Carasella Photography

 If "The Gift of Happiness" sounds ill-timed after so much suffering this year, Brennan assured us that these themes were pre-planned and "happiness" just happened to fall on this year. Still, happiness is a hope we have for 2021.

"We know 2020 has been unprecedented, but we find comfort in the enduring tradition of what this is," Brennan said.

"If you've got happiness everything falls into place," he continued. "We're ready to take on the challenges of 2021 that are waiting around the corner for us. We know that this celebration is going to be different, but we sincerely hope Waterford's "Gift of Happiness" will inspire everyone to share a little bit of happiness and generosity in 2021." 

It takes Waterford Crystal, which is based out of Ireland, a full year to design and manufacture the triangles, Brennan explained.

He said by the time the "Greatest Gift" series is over, the ball will be a "patchwork quilt of these amazing patterns, symbols, communications and sentiments." The last year, 2023, will be the "gift of love."

times square ball drop waterford crystal
Photograph: Courtesy Waterford Crystal / Matthew Carasella Photography

About 32,000 LED lights that can make up more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns will be refracted through the nearly 3,000 crystal triangles this New Year's Eve.

You can see it live through Times Square's VNYE (Virtual New Year's Eve) on your mobile device or computer or watch the ball drop live at,, on our Instagram Live and right here.

Performances, which include "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, will start at 6pm.

Most popular on Time Out

- The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Guide 2020
- These were the NYPL’s most popular books of 2020
- 11 things we can actually look forward to in NYC in 2021
- The absolute best ’80s songs
- Epic New Year's Eve Events In NYC From Parties To Shows

Want to know what’s cool in the city before your friends do? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.

Popular on Time Out

    More on Winter

      You may also like
      You may also like