What Is a Bohemian Party?

by Audrey Farley, Demand Media

    Parties and social gatherings are often themed to honor a certain tradition or are simply for the sake of entertainment. Bohemian-themed parties promote a free-spirit or perhaps counter-cultural mood, through bohemian or gypsy traditions, decorations and costume. Bohemian parties may be formal or casual, outdoors or in. What distinguishes bohemian parties are eclectic, off-beat and artsy themes.

    Overview

    Bohemian-themed parties are often chosen for wedding receptions, but they are also hosted for birthdays, reunions or other social gatherings. Sometimes, they incorporate other themes, such as an "Arabian Nights" or Indian theme. Bohemian parties are appropriate for guests young and old.

    Features

    Bohemian parties often feature belly dancers, who may simply perform for entertainment or also instruct guests. Henna tattoo artists are also popular at bohemian parties, inking guests with elaborate and ornate designs on the hands and arms. The party may feature a fortune-teller, as gypsies were known for this talent, or a snake charmer.

    Decorations

    Bohemian parties are often, although not necessarily, held outdoors, since bohemians are known for loving nature and being close to the Earth. Outdoor parties may use tents, while indoor parties often incorporate tents, canopies or drapes to create a bohemian setting. Other decorations frequently include beads, flowers, floor pillows, genie lamps and Oriental or floral-print carpets. Typically, decorations feature rich jewel tones and sparkling accents. Incense and music are also common.

    Costume

    Party invitations often encourage guests to wear bohemian-style clothing or costumes. Bohemian fashion varies. Some styles are nature-inspired, using a lot of earth tones, flowers and jewelry made from stones or feathers; other styles are vintage or eclectic, featuring lots of gaudy beads, streamers and other hippie or Art Deco elements. Importantly, bohemians are carefree and adventurous, so guests may simply be encourage to dress to express their free spirits.

    About the Author

    Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.

    Photo Credits

    • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images