House party

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Sketch from the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, September 27, 1896, accompanying an article by Nina Goodwin, datelined Paris, France, September 15, beginning “One hears now, more than anything else, the subject of house parties being discussed.” The caption reads: “The most cheerful gowns in red and wood color for a dull day, when the house party gathers for afternoon tea.” Women are relaxing in garden furniture.
Newspaper layout dealing with house parties, with sketches by Marguerite Martyn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and photographs of society women, 1909. The man in the center is carrying golf clubs, and there is a hammock in the lower drawing.
A house party in Denver, Colorado, 2009

A house party is a type of party where people gather at the residence of the party's host.


A house party might be organized several months or just a few hours in advance. News of a party may be spread by personal invitations, word of mouth, posted leaflets, or notices on social networking sites. Broad notice of a party – sometimes unintentionally – can result in large numbers of people attending who do not know the host personally, and may be disruptive. A person who attends a house party but has not been invited, is typically referred to as a "gatecrasher", particularly if the party is open only to invited guests; they are usually perceived negatively, but may nonetheless be welcomed by the host.


An early example of a house party can be seen in the play Mostellaria (The Haunted House) by the Roman playwright Plautus. In the play, a young man called Philolaches holds a house party with many friends while his father Theopropides is away on business.

House parties have become a prominent feature in popular movies, particularly movies aimed at teenagers. While many have probably been present before the movie, The Party is one of the first to properly provide a scene of a house party. However, the most popular film later on is House Party featuring hip hop rap duo Kid-N-Play.

In various cultures[edit]

In the former Yugoslavia, a sijelo (In Ijekavian), silo (In Ikavian) or selo (In Ekavian) is an evening social gathering at a house. The use of the word sijelo is particularly widespread in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Ireland, a Céilí is a social gathering which, in its traditional form, takes place in a domestic dwelling. Contemporary céliís often involve music and dancing and can also take place in a public or private meeting space, in addition to in a domestic setting.

In the United Kingdom, house parties may be referred to as a 'Skins' party, referring to a well-known TV show focusing on the lives of teenagers who often participate in and host open house parties.

See also[edit]


House Party Decoration Ideas


For Sijelo:

  • Milenko S. Filipović (1982). Among the people, native Yugoslav ethnography: selected writing of Milenko S. Filipović. Michigan Slavic Publications, Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures. p. 97. ISBN 9780930042479.
  • Norman M. Naimark; Holly Case (2003). Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4594-9.