Halloween’s spooky vibe has made its way to India, and over the last few years the festival has been gaining immense popularity across the country. And so, just when we're done enjoying the best of the traditional festivals, some of us get another reason to party the end of October! Now, if you enjoy dressing up in a costume, AND hosting a party, here's what you need to read before you plan your very own All Hallows’ Eve. Not only did we put together some fun stuff on our own, but we also brought in a professional - Niyomi Zatakia, who runs Party Platter in South Mumbai - in our quest to tell you how to throw a Halloween party that kicks some serious butt!
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As you must know, a must-have at any Halloween party is carved-out pumpkins! The easiest way to do it, says Zatakia, “is to carve out fresh pumpkins, deseed them, and put tea candles in them”. Now, throwing a Halloween party is all about being creative. Add a bit of “feel” to the venue by different kinds of spooky decorations. Play around with the light: black light bulbs or dark-hued lampshades can do wonders for ambient lighting. Try your luck at shops for bat stickers for the walls, and scary figurines that can pop out of the closet to get your friends' hearts racing! Make sure you load up on different masks: vampires, zombies, mad scientists and many more. If you're a big fan of fantasy/horror movies, you can (with a bunch of friends), try to do a Pirates of the Caribbean theme. A Twilight theme would work great for those with vampire fever. And, of course, the classic Harry Potter party to recreate your favourite characters! Regardless of the theme, by the way, the Harry Potter movie soundtracks, played low on the speakers, are fabulous for creating that slightly chilly and other-worldly mood.
Dressing up (which we LOVE) is a big part of celebrating Halloween. If you put in a bit of time and effort, your costume can totally channel your personality - or, at least, the personality you’ve picked for the evening! “If you want to go simple, like a nurse, just borrow/ buy a lab coat and a nurse's cap, and you're done,” advises Zatakia. “It's easy to dress up like a vampire too: just wear a long maxi dress, a cape (or turn one of your scarves into one) and a set of fake, long teeth from a kids' shop, and you're ready.” Choose your favourite character from a TV show to dress up as, or an iconic musician, or even a superhero you love! Black faux leather jeggings, black camisole, black leather jacket, cat-eye liner and glasses - and you’re all set to rock your party as Catwoman. ;) You can even take inspiration from the scariest GOT characters - winter is coming, after all!
Now, not everyone is as big a fan of dressing up as we are, right? So tempt your guests to put some effort into dressing up by holding a contest for the best dressed or scariest costume. The prize could be anything that feels vintage or is super-funky - an old mini-chest (pirates’ treasure, yo!), a bottle of wine (if you’re feeling lavish) or even a crown of skulls!
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Take into account that there will always be a few guests who didn't have the time to dress up, or just didn't have the right accessories (even if they were feeling the spirit). Keep a stash of wands, masks, stick-on eye-patches, wigs and moustaches handy to amp up costumes and for a crazy selfie session. After all, the memories should keep you laughing till your next Halloween party!
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“The main colour theme for this festival is orange and black; so keep everything spooky and darkish, to enjoy the spirit of the festival," suggests Zatakia. While Absinthe is a great favourite for Halloween, we suggest you stay away from it given how potent it is! (You don’t want to deal with sick guests, do you?) The Bloody Mary is a staple cocktail for obvious reasons. Tell your bartender to go creative with azure cocktails and screwdrivers. And dark rum always comes in handy! ;)
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You'd actually want your guests to eat, so wiggly worms and eyeballs are a no-no for adults. Keep it simple yet on point with sliders and finger foods like fried cheese poppers, corn on the cob and pumpkin pie. Use Halloween flags on top of toothpicks - it's these small details that are always noticed and elevate your party above all others. “For the main course, you can go in for pumpkin risotto or a bake like a lasagna,” says Zatakia. You can also try customized biscuits (most good bakeries will do these for you), with a little tombstone or a cross and a slightly creepy “RIP” message. ;)
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Stock up on an assortment of candies for dessert - and a little something to give away to your friends as an after-party treat. Go in for all flavours of candy: strawberry, lemon, orange. Get hold of some pop rocks to enjoy a blast from the past, and candy corn ('coz, you know, it's Halloween!), jujubes, sour patches and chocolate-covered coffee beans. Make sure you have some strategically placed fake spiders and beetles to scare the hell out of your guests as they dig greedily into the candy bowls!
So, what are you waiting for? Go design those invites and get started on your Halloween party already. And, remember: have a great time!
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