The practice of smoking hookah originated in ancient India. It was not only a custom, but also a matter of prestige. The rich and landed classes would gather around to smoke hookah and socialize. Centuries later, hookah has become quite popular in the United States and elsewhere as an exotic and popular focal point at parties. Pictured below are tented hookah lounges provided at parties produced by Zohar Productions.
Hookah or Shisha is a hookah pipe with a long, flexible tube that draws the smoke through water contained in a bowl. A person sucks on the end of the pipe and smoke is carried through the tube to the person’s mouth.
In India and Pakistan, the name most similar to the English hookah is huqqa. Depending on locality, hookahs are referred to by many names, Narghilè is the name most commonly used in Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. Narghile derives from the Persian word nārgil (meaning coconut, and in turn from the Sanskrit nārikela suggesting that early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells. Shisha from the Persian word shīshe meaning glass, is the common term for the hookah in Egypt and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf (including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia), and in Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen.
The origins of the hookah began nearly 10,000 years ago in the northwestern provinces of India along the border of Pakistan in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The first hookahs were simple and primitive in design and did not look like the hookahs that are seen today.
When the hookah made its way to Turkey almost 500 years ago, it entered the upper class and became popular among intellectuals. Here, the hookah grew in size and complexity, becoming more similar to designs that are seen today.
Hookah came into Western culture when Lewis Carroll first wrote about a hookah-smoking caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. After the book was published, hookah lounges sprang up in England and America, where today it is still popular to imitate the caterpillar by blowing rings and bubbles with colorful smoke. Hookah tents at parties are also very popular and are a great way to guarantee a unique and exotic party.
Sweet scented tobacco is smoked in the hookah and comes in a variety of flavors. Some of the flavors are based on flowers such as rose and jasmine. Others flavors are derived from fruits like apple, mango and strawberry. There are also flavors such as chocolate, coffee, licorice, and even cotton candy! It is important to be creative in combining flavors in order to create a rich and complex blend.
Even though many centuries have passed since the hookah was invented, its popularity remains, and it still bringing people together to socialize and celebrate special moments.
Hookah lounges at parties are available by contacting Zohar Productions at 800-658-0258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have locations in NYC, LA, Miami, and Phoenix. Visit www.zoharproductions.com for additional information.
Watch this video to learn how to set-up a hookah: