More a social ritual than an excuse to fill one's lungs with smoke, the hookah makes a nice centerpiece for an intimate evening shared with friends. Add a few exotic touches, and you will transport your guests on a magic carpet far away from an otherwise dull and ordinary Saturday night.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Food and beverage
- Small pins
- Flower pillows
- Brightly colored synthetic chiffon
- Oranges, dates, pistachios, wooden bowls
- Rose petals
- Henna tattoo kit
- Hookah pipes
- Fruit flavored tobacco
Invitation: Look on-line, in costume shops or exotic goods stores for toe rings, or babouche slippers (pointed Moroccan slippers worn by both man and women), finger cymbals (used by belly dancers), or a fez (a round red hat with a tassel). Forward the details with a simple note pinned to the item. Sample text: Want to take a ride on my magic carpet? Drop in for a smoke at the Kasbah. It's happening on [insert date] at [insert location]. Wear whatever makes you feel like belly dancing. Let me know if you're on board. [Insert RSVP date and contact information.] See you there [insert your name], The Sultan of Sin!
Use lightweight, colorful synthetic chiffon and secure it to the walls with tiny pins. Start by securing the corners, then let it hang two or three feet down and three to four feet across, and pin again, until you cover the area you are dressing up (creating a billowing draped effect).
Low tables with floor pillows thrown around them make cheap and chic guest tables (a piece of plywood on top of stacked books works perfectly, just drape the wood with floor length Moroccan printed fabric).
Pick up hookahs and fruit flavored tobacco online (see Resources below) to use as centerpieces and entertainment.
Set up an area for guests to decorate bare belly's, ankles, backs and wrists with henna tattoos. Order the kit online (see Resources below).
Ask around at a local Middle Eastern restaurant or belly dancing class for a referral. Better yet: got a brave friend? Let her (okay, maybe him) brush up on a few moves and lead your guests in some lessons. Barring that, slip a belly-dancing instructional video in and see who's brave enough to start things off. A great instructional video can be ordered online (see Resources below).
Tips and warnings
- Accent the party with bowls of oranges, dates and pistachios.
- Grab some wilting, half-price roses and scatter the petals on tables, in bowls of water, and on the floor at the entrance to the party.
- For more great themed party ideas order "Flirtini: A Guide To Mixing And Mingling" from www.amazon.com.
- Not everyone may want to participate in the hookah...don't worry, they will be the first to start belly dancing!