The perfect party

Festival of Lights Decorate your home in innovative ways   | Photo Credit: Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Here are a few tips for a memorable Deepavali bash

The apparently endless wait is almost over. The festival of lights is back and how! While some have already switched to party mode by getting the house distempered, going on that long-pending shopping spree and bringing out the polished brass urlis, there are still others who want to host a memorable Deepavali party but don’t know just how to get started on it. Considering time is running out, for all those who have nearly hit the panic button, here’s what you need to know about organising a Deepavali party that your friends are going to remember for a long time to come.

Home décor: If your house isn’t freshly painted, don’t fret. All you need to do is clean up your living room and change the drapes. Bring in some vibrant colours like red, yellow and orange. Make sure you get a new set of ethnic cushion covers, preferably ones with exquisite mirror-work on them for your sofa set. Gold bordered colourful bamboo mats can be used to give a more traditional look.

Polish your silver. Get a different urn this time for the entrance. Terracotta ones are all the rage now. Deepavali is about the diyas so make sure your supply doesn’t run out. Place the diyas strategically. Diya shaped candles are also a good choice. Scented candles are a must. Don’t forget to collect rose petals and floating diyas for the urli. You could also use smaller urns to decorate other parts of the house.

Use lampshades to your advantage. You could also get your kids to help you make paper lanterns and use them to decorate the porch. Go berserk with the rangoli. Multihued patterns are in. Use the excess petals here.

According to party planner Puja Aneja “Marigolds are still Deepavali specials, but you could use other flowers too. Chrysanthemums and carnations are a good choice. Orchids are also being picked up for this purpose. Use unsophisticated vases for a change.”

Bells of different sizes are a must. Hang them in different parts of the house at varying heights. Make sure a nice large bell is placed at the entrance of the house. Get out paintings and wall hangings that would complement the appearance of your house. Warli paintings are very classy.

Deepavali is also about framed mirrors that you could hang at different angles around the house.

Themes: This time around, themed card parties are hip. While Puja would rather go traditional with a Rajasthani theme that would include “lots of mirror work, earthen pots, handmade clay gifts,” Taruni Das of Event Affair thinks, “It’s got to be more spiritual this time with motifs of gods and goddesses on wall hangings, and table cloths.”

A casino theme can also be interesting. Set out tables in the backyard. Use lanterns to illuminate the area. Cocktails are an integral part of this theme. Choose an appropriate dress code as well.

Invites: Phone calls and emails are not acceptable when it comes to inviting your guests. Get innovative while designing cards. You could probably design invitation cards that resemble a pack of playing cards.

Games: Card games like Ace and Poker are typical of Deepavali celebrations. Board games like Monopoly, Business and Pictionary can be played. Roulette is a fun option. Don’t forget the kids won’t be able to wait too long to burst the firecrackers. So make sure the cracker session is a group activity.

Food: If it is a card party you are planning to host, go easy on the food. Stick to dry nibbles. You could however, prepare a variety of dips and chutneys.

“For a dinner party, you could do the usual biryani-raitha. Saffron rice is another option. Make sure the vegetarians’ taste buds are also satisfied. A Rajasthani cuisine is ideal,” opines Puja.

Gifts: Electronic gadgets like iPods, PSPs and mobile phones can be gifted to your kids and to your spouse. Other kids at the Deepavali party can be gifted with a box of sparklers and chocolates.

Women would love being gifted a basket of goodies or of essential oils and perfumes. Silver coins with the impression of the goddess of wealth are usually gifted at Deepavali parties. Scented candles and handcrafted artifacts are also good gifting options. With no time to handpick gifts for your guests, a gift hamper is the perfect solution.