Close your eyes for a moment. Now imagine you’re on an island in the South Pacific; a warm, salty breeze blows gently over pristine white beaches just as the sun disappears over the ocean. The smell Crab Rangoon, the sounds of frenzied music, and the distinct aroma of rum wafting up from your drink (served in the shell of a coconut, of course) all fill your soul as you join in a celebration of life; revitalizing your soul, and drawing you into the magical world of Polynesian culture. In case you haven’t figured it out by now … you’re at a TIKI PARTY !!!!
That’s right! Pretty much anyone can imagine what it would be like to join one of these authentic island extravaganzas, also known as a Luau, but not everyone can afford to visit New Zealand, Hawaii, or one of the many other Polynesian islands where this ancient celebration got its start. Not to worry, Tiki Bars, and the Tiki tradition fortunately have made their way into the ”Dictionary of Ultimate Party Ideas” all over the world.
Let’s take a look at some ideas you can use to create your own popular and exciting Tiki celebration. After all, there are a few things you should know if you are going to throw the most authentic Tiki party since King Potatau Te Whereowhereo. It is rumored that his luaus could appease the angriest of angry volcanoes!
What does Tiki Even Mean?
In the beginning there was Tane, god of the forests and birds. Tane then created Tiki, the first man. Tiki, being alone in the world, became very lonely. One day upon seeing his reflection in a pond, and believing he had found a fellow partier, he dove in, only to discover that his new friend vanished within the ripples of his wake.
Saddened and angry he filled in the pond with dirt. Upon awakening the next day Tiki discovered that a woman had sprung forth from the mud. They lived together quite innocently until the unexpected sighting of an eel excited the woman, and … well, that’s when the party really started for Tiki.
2-What To Wear to a Tiki Party?
Well, anything you like! But, if you’re really trying to add a sense of authenticity to your shindig you could request that your guest don an original piupiu skirt. Heavily influence by western culture over the centuries, a wide variety of design choices now exist for this island fashion.
Originally made for both men and women; the pipe is crafted from local flax leaves. The fibers are stripped and dyed, then twisted into the desired length and boiled to maintain their shape. Afterwards they are attached to a braided waistband. What? No flax in your neighborhood? Don’t worry there are plenty of Tiki party supply stores to help you dress the part.
3- What’s On The Tiki Menu ?
Obviously, if you want your traditional luau to be off the hook, hot dogs and hamburgers are not going to do the trick. Your Tiki party’s menu will require a bit more dedication to win the adulation of your guests.
Instead, try a delectable Kalua Pua’a, or, as you land lovers may know it – ”pig” . Nothing will set your party apart from other ”Tiki torch from Wal-Mart, rum and coke in a Dixie cup” soiree’s being thrown by less motivated party planners than a genuine barbecue pit dug into the ground containing a full sized swine seasoned to perfection with sea salt, and green onions! Shrimp, scallops, chicken, mangos, and bananas, are some of the other items you will likely find at actual Polynesian island get-togethers.
4- What About Music?
When is comes to the music for your party it is time to take a few acceptable steps into the future. It’s OK. I think Tane will forgive this minor sin. Although tradition dictates that you should have at least one pahu drum and maybe a few ipus to add shape, no Tiki party is complete without the mellow romanticism of Hawaiian favorite Don Ho. A short Google search will yield a variety of styles, and players for this form of music.
Whether you choose to hire a DJ to spin the classic, slack key, or contemporary Tiki style of music, or hire your own Tiki band, as long as there is a ukulele involved you can’t go wrong!
5- What Kind of Awesome Tiki Decorations Do I Need?
Go the extra mile to decorate your party with more than just boring old Tiki torches. This could mean the difference between a so-so party, and a memorable bash that will have guests talking about it months later.
Tiki torches are cool, but they should shine on a few Tiki statues, or totem poles scattered here and there. Traditional Maori masks are another great way to bring a sense of wonder to your celebration. Thatched huts make great protection from hot sun, or inclement weather while creating a real sense of being on a tropical island. Flowers, seashells, and anything else associated with island culture will further create a sense authenticity and help to create an extraordinary event!
One thing is for sure, from Tiki themed bars nestled away in obscure hotel lounges, to the backyards of sorority, and frat houses everywhere, Tiki tradition continues to be a mainstay in popular party culture. So, use these suggestions to turn your island themed event into the party of the year that everyone will want to come to again, and again.