Holi being the festival of fun and frolic, an invitation to a Holi party guarantees that you will have the time of your life. When you receive an invitation to a party and you intend to attend the party, let your host know well in advance that you will be attending the party.
a. Dos and Don’ts
There are certain guidelines to being a perfect guest at a Holi party:
Be on time. If the invitation mentions the party being an open house, do reach before one hour of the end time.
If you need to bring along guests with you, let your host know in advance. Holi parties tend to be pretty rambunctious and the host would like to ensure that everyone at the party is comfortable with each other.
Offer to help. If the host does not require your help and refuses, do not impose yourself on the host.
Avoid spending a lot of time talking on your mobile phone. If you must attend to calls, keep them short and do not talk too loudly on the phone.
Do not overstay. As the party draws to a close, you can also offer to help with the cleanup.
If you have had a lot of bhang thandai or alcohol, do not drive yourself home. Arrange for someone to drop you home or pick you up. You can also call a cab.
Bringing along a gift for your host is always a thoughtful gesture. For a Holi party, popular gifts include sweets and gujiyas, chocolates, and Holi gift hampers. Sweets and gujiyas are especially welcome if they are homemade. Holi gift hampers are also widely available in the market. They consist of beautifully designed and packaged trays or baskets of sweets, gulals and colors, and idols of Lord Krishna. You can also gift organic Holi color packs. You can also gift home décor items such as colorful candles, idols, flowers and flower vases, and so on.
So, what to wear on Holi? It is best to follow the dress code that the host specifies. If there is no dress code, you decide if you want to dress in your best whites or the oldest clothes that you want to throw away later. We have grown up watching Hindi movie songs that have everyone dressed in pristine whites. Whites look great on the screen where dry colors are being thrown in the air and rarely does anyone get drenched with colored water. In real life, its best to dress in your darkest or oldest clothes that you can wash or even discard.
Your choice of attire should be guided by who has invited you. For example, you can dress casually if you have been invited by a close friend or family members. If you have been invited by a coworker or to a Holi party organized by your organization, dress in clothes that have you looking good even when they are wet. Wearing loose salwar suits with dark or skin-colored undergarments ensures that you have multiple layers that protect your skin from the harmful effects of colors and do not stick to your body if you have been sprayed with colored water. Wearing jeans might sound like a great idea but denim becomes very heavy and sticks to the skin when wet. You can however choose to wear dark khakhis with a dark top.
Apart from clothes, take care of your skin and hair. If you wear makeup, use products that will not react with the powder Holi colors. Wear water-proof eyeliner and mascara that will not run when you are playing with water. It is a good idea to apply cream or lotion on the exposed parts of your body so that colors do not stick or dye the skin. Similarly, apply a couple of coats of nail polish so that nails are not stained by the Holi colors. Oiling your hair is also recommended as that ensures that your hair is not stained and the colors wash out easily.
A thumb rule for dressing for Holi parties – wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible, to protect it from harmful effects of colors.
Holi is one time when you can probably behave any way you want and not worry about what others think of you. However, it is best if you do not overindulge in any way, be it pulling pranks, applying colors on the host and other guests, and throwing colored water on them. It is also advisable that you eat and drink in moderation. Do not overindulge in finger foods and appetizers. Holi parties are not complete without the traditional drinks – bhang and thandai. Be mindful of your consumption of these drinks so that you are in control of your actions and behavior. As all guests want to have fun and enjoy themselves, participate in the fun and frolic.
Also, avoid getting into heavy discussions and arguments. Remember that some people consider Holi fun as a license to behave inappropriately. Be responsible for your safety.
Last but not the least, do thank the hosts when you are leaving the party and a day after the party. This will also ensure an invite from the hosts for their next party.