Winter is finally here. It’s time to bring out the woollens and heaters. It’s also time to throw your own bonfire party! You could have it in your backyard or at a beach or farmhouse. Just follow these tips and you are sure you walk home with accolades on how great a party host you are.

Planning a bonfire party isn’t rocket science. Indeed, far from it. All you need is some flammable material, some food and drink, music, and you are all set for an evening full of fun. Here is all you need to know to throw a great bonfire party.

The Do’s

Spend a winter evening warming up with friends (Source)

The first thing to do is to select a location for your bonfire. A dry pit in the backyard is the ideal way to do it, but you can also use a big metal plate or some other discarded concave utensil to double up as a fire pit. Make sure you make the bonfire in a sufficiently large open area, so that the guests can enjoy the fire from a distance. Make a circle of bricks and stones around the fire pit so that the fire remains within control.

For the fire, get together a number of logs or long pieces of fuel wood and set them up against each other to form a pyramid at the centre of the pit. Fill up the gap under the pyramid with smaller twigs, dry leaves, and pieces of used paper or newspaper. Take a rolled-up newspaper, light one end, and insert it into the gap between the logs. The lighter material will catch fire quickly and the ascending flame will then light up the fuel wood.

To keep your guests entertained, play some good music that caters to every guest’s taste and to make it even more fun, give the party a theme and make a playlist of songs revolving around that theme! Set up lawn chairs, picnic rugs or other comfy furniture around the bonfire for everyone to sit. Hand out long sticks and things like candies, groundnuts, and sweet potatoes, for guests to roast over the fire and eat. Some outdoor-friendly snacks and an ice box full of drinks might also come in handy.

The Don’ts

Sitting too close to the fire is an absolute no-no (Source)

It is an absolute must to take precautions when playing with fire (pun intended). First off, do not situate the fire anywhere near overhead cables, trees and shrubs, a shed, or a fence.

Never, ever, use flammable liquids like petrol to light the fire, since there are good chances for the liquid to spill or to cause the fire to flare up. While lighting the fire or tending to it, don’t go too near; always use a long stick or a fire-pick. Never lean over the fire. Also always keep the fire within its designated area and don’t let it spread. Keep a fire extinguisher or buckets of water nearby for emergencies.

Don’t let kids go unattended anywhere in the vicinity of the fire. More importantly, never leave an open fire unattended. When the party is over, don’t leave the embers burning in the fire pit. Pour water or sand over the pit and ensure that the fire has died down completely and the embers have cooled before leaving the scene. Nobody wants to accidentally step on burning embers and burn their feet a la Hindi films!

If these basic guidelines are followed, along with some innovation on part of the hosts, bonfire parties can be a fabulous way to get together and enjoy with friends and family on cold winter evenings.