One of the most beloved shisha, or hookah, smoking traditions occurs when you invite your family and friends to sit around the pipe and share a fun, tasteful, and stimulating experience. We take great pride in helping our clients carry on the time-honoured shisha tradition in a spirited, yet courteous, manner.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic hookah smoking etiquettes to create the best experience for your guests.
The fundamentals of shisha etiquette
Whether you’re a shisha pro, or you’re about to attend your first event, it’s with knowing the fundamental courtesies of the hookah experience. So let’s start with the quick facts.
- Never light a cigarette or cigar with your shisha coal.
- Never leave the hose on the table or chair when you are done smoking. Instead, wrap it around the stem to avoid damage.
- Never blow smoke in someone’s face.
- When passing the hose, always turn the mouth of the hose far from the person you are passing it to.
- Always allow people to finish blowing their smoke prior to taking your turn.
Now that you know the basics, let’s dive in a little deeper.
Be a courteous and gracious host
As the host, it’s your responsibility to create an inclusive experience for all of your hookah guests. Even if all of your guests are not interested in smoking, the unique nature of the shisha experience is guaranteed to pique their interest.
As the host, your job is to be gracious and inclusive without pressuring anyone to participate if they do not want to. Start by explaining what the experience will be like, and letting your guests pick out the flavor mix for the night.
As a guest, respect the house rules
While shisha has a very traditional history, this doesn’t mean everyone has the same traditions. If you are a guest attending someone else’s hookah gathering, be sure to respect the house rules. Offer to help, but be sure to consider the traditions of the host. As a guest, it’s your job to relax and enjoy the party.
The host always goes first
As the saying goes, “if you build it, you smoke it.” It’s polite to give the first lighting to the host as a courtesy to the host who set everything up in the first place. After all of their hard work, they deserve to relax a little, so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Stick to the rotation
Traditionally, passing the hookah pipe to the person in front of you is considered discourteous. The shisha hose should be formally rotated in a clockwise direction. However, as the host, it’s your prerogative to set the rotation. Regardless of what you choose, pick a rotation and stick to it.
Don’t hog the hookah
Part of the appeal of shisha is to enjoy the experience and the flavor. Don’t be afraid to take four or five puffs before passing it down. Just be sure to remain conscientious that your fellow smokers are eagerly awaiting their turn. Along these same lines, if you decide to tell a story during your turn, either pass or hold off on your story. The idea is to never keep the other people in your party waiting too long for their turn. When in doubt, stick to the 2-3 minute rule per person before passing. This allows plenty of time to savor the experience while not taking too much time in between turns.
Don’t become a balker
Above all else, never ever balk! Wait, what is balking? In hookah, when you are in the process of passing the hose to someone and then you suddenly decide to take one more turn, it’s known as balking. This is a big party foul.
Mind your handover manners
While modern times have made the experience a bit more casual, there are some traditions regarding the passing of the hose in a shisha smoking session. For example, try not to tug, pull, or entangle the hose as you pass it to the next user. When you pass the hose, it’s also considered shisha etiquette to point the mouthpiece away from the recipient. Turn the hookah slightly to avoid the hose gradually coiling around the pipe.
If you require a new pipe, charcoal, or a range of shisha flavors, the experts at Euphoria UAE are here to help. We’ve got what you need, from complete sets and bundle packs to separate accessories and party packages; we’ve got the goods to make your next shisha experience an epic one.
Contact a member of our team to learn more.