Rainbow teas are parties that feature food and decorations in the colours of the rainbow. They are most commonly hosted by Christian women and are sometimes thrown as fundraisers. The name is deceptive, as usually there is much more than tea found at a rainbow tea. Food, games, crafts and entertainment are all common.
Rainbow tea parties are most often held by Christian groups, usually within a church. The rainbow, which Christians believe signifies God's promise to never again destroy the world, is also symbolic in that each of its colours represent something different about God. Red, for example, stands for the blood of Christ. Rainbow tea parties are often held as fundraisers and hosted by a women's group in the church.
At a rainbow tea party, each table is decorated in a different colour of the rainbow. Usually, a prize is given for the best decorated table. Each table is assigned a "captain." The captain (usually a woman) is assigned a colour and is in charge of not only decorating her table, but also providing food in that colour as well. Each table also features a unique centrepiece of the assigned colour.
Many rainbow teas are fundraisers. Guests enter and browse the tables, purchasing food from whichever tables look the tastiest. For example, food offerings on a yellow table might be lemon pie, buttered popcorn or lemonade. At other teas, the guests pay to have a seat at a table of their choice, and are served a full meal or tea and dessert, if it is a dessert tea. In the latter case, the dessert is again often colour-coordinated.
Games are sometimes played at rainbow teas, especially if children attend. One popular game involves streamers of different colours. The streamers are tangled together and strung around an area of the room. The effect is somewhat like a rainbow. Each team must follow and untangle their colour of streamer. This game can be played with string as well. At the end of the streamer, there is a prize.
Most rainbow teas feature entertainment of some kind. Singing is common, whether in a group or someone singing solo ("Over the Rainbow" is a popular song choice). Sometimes poems about rainbows, God's promises or any other Christian theme are read aloud. At elaborate teas, a dance may be performed, with each dancer wearing a different colour of the rainbow. Some other teas may feature a craft activity, such as making a rainbow-patterned beaded bracelet.