Arabian Nights Theme Parties


The Arabian Nights is a vast collection of stories with Greek, Indian and Arabian sources that were compiled in Arabia during the Middle Ages. Most people in the West know the Arabian Nights through the stories of Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad the Sailor, but the whole work is a treasure of stories-within-stories featuring giant birds, evil genies, talking fish and other wonders. “The vastness and complexity of the Nights is mesmerizing,” says Robert Irwin, author of two books on the Arabian Nights. With its exotic flavor and lavish descriptions of foods and feasting, it makes an ideal theme for a party.

Create Magic Invitations

  • An Arabian Nights party is an opportunity to craft original invitations with an oriental flair. Buy or create scrolled parchment decorated with tassels, and place them in bottles for a magical effect. Or make “magic carpet” invitations with card stock decorated with acrylic paint and calligraphic script, sprinkled with gold around the edges.

Decorate With Enchantment

  • Living rooms and back yards provide adequate settings for entertainment. An outdoor venue, especially at nightfall, can create a sense of enchantment. Begin in the living room and then move into the yard to evoke the feeling of going on a journey, a feeling at the heart of some of the best-known tales in the Arabian Nights. Decorate your walls with fabric of turquoise or purple chiffon. Fill the room with hanging paper lanterns, votary candles, lamps and decanters. Move the biggest pieces of furniture out of the living room and liberally strew the floor with throw pillows so that your guests can eat in traditional Arabian style. Place an oriental carpet in the center of the room or somewhere off to the side: The flying carpet is one of the best-known magical objects in the world of the Arabian Nights.

Prepare Authentic Food

  • Lavish descriptions of food are a recurring fixture in the Arabian Nights. Start out with a light coriander or green salad, served with olives, cucumbers and tomatoes -- foods that have long been popular throughout the Middle East. Provide pita bread and hummus for appetizers. For the main course, prepare onions stuffed with meat and rice and boiled in pomegranate syrup in a saucepan for about 45 minutes. Or bake lamb kebabs in the oven for the same length of time, covering the lamb in cumin, coriander, pepper and curry powder. Follow this up with baklava, dried figs, or crepes for dessert, accompanied by tea, coffee or ginger milk.

Movies, Dancers and Body Painting

  • At this point all, that’s lacking is a centerpiece activity to give the night a focus. A solid party provides its guests with an event that can keep everyone entertained. The Arabian Nights is a popular source for cinematic inspiration. Some of the best-known films based on the stories include: "The Thief of Baghdad," "Il Fiore delle Mille e una Notte" or "Flower of the Arabian Nights," and for the kids,"Aladdin" and "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas." Probably the most famous Arabian nights-inspired movie is "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad," a 1958 movie that features a fight between Sinbad and a dancing skeleton designed by the great Ray Harryhausen. If you’re not in the mood for a movie, alternatives are available. Hire belly dancers to perform and give lessons. Create miniature spas or host henna-painting sessions. Henna is a kind of temporary body paint that's been used in Northern Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Patrick Bronson/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



  • The Gentle Art of Cookery; C. F. Leyel and Olga Hartley
  • David Rosengarten Entertains: Fabulous Parties for Food Lovers; David Rosengarten

You May Also Like

  • Arabian Costume Ideas

    The ancient Middle East was an advanced culture with breathtaking architecture and intriguing customs and traditions. The ancient collection of tales "One...

  • How to Throw an Arabian Party

    The best Arabian parties provide an exotic mix of mystery, sensuality and tradition worthy of lasting one thousand and one nights. Research...

  • Arabian Nights Prom Themes

    A prom with an exotic theme, such as "1001 Arabian Nights," not only gives the decorators the chance to show off their...

  • Bunco Food Ideas

    Bunco is a game of dice in which players take turns trying to accumulate points with each round. The game is played...

  • Ideas for a Cheap Arabian Night Centerpiece

    Arabian Nights is all about warm, sensual colors, exotic designs and lush decor. To make a centerpiece for your Arabian Nights dinner...

  • Moroccan Theme Party Ideas

    Take party guests on a trip around the world by hosting a Moroccan-themed party in the comforts of your own home. Exotic...

  • Toga Party Decoration Ideas

    Toga parties are a classic crowd favorite that pay homage to ancient Greece and Rome. As with any theme party, decoration is...

  • Ideas for an Arabian Nights Birthday Party

    An Arabian nights birthday party theme works for children of all ages. This party theme includes interesting and fun characters such as...

  • Ideas for a Theme Night

    When it comes to planning a theme night for a party or other event, the opportunities are endless. Theme parties seem to...

  • Arabian Nights Theme Party Game Ideas

    An Arabian Nights theme party is all about the mysterious, exotic and sensual fun. Look for games that revolve around the theme,...

  • Arabian Nights Party Decoration Ideas

    Arabian Nights-themed parties are rare compared to more common themes like toga parties or generic Halloween parties. That means there's a great...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Throw a Halloween Dinner Party

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!