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Planning Your Own Eurovision Party

With the onset of May comes one of my favourite annual events: Eurovision! A combination of really bad pop music, wacky costumes and the not-so-party-friendly underlying topic of international relations makes me squeal slightly. 

Despite this last year was my first year attending a Eurovision party. Even though I was not the one hosting I still got myself into a frenzy when my friend decided to instead. We sent recipes back and forth and gave out costume ideas to other guests. 

The thing that struck me however was the dead-end in my Google search for ideas. Aside from the BBC Guide, not much was out there on how to host a house party that would rival the 'real thing'. 

This year, enter my own guide! As a Christmas/Halloween/Easter/Valentine's Day/New Year New Start enficianado I felt it was time to turn my hand to how to get hyped up over Eurovision.

General Idea
Everyone comes as a country. Dress in the style of that country or as a famous Eurovision act from that country. Bring some food from said country and some drink, again from said country. Watch the show and possibly play a drinking game (or two!). Simple!

Choosing Your Costume
Being a fancy dress fiend this is probably my favourite part! Last year I was Russia and that costume went down as one of my favourite fancy dress adventures ever. Originally I was going to go as the Netherlands but that fell through....

Which brings me to my first point on costumes: make sure your country has a hope in hell of getting through to the final. Most countries have a Wikipedia page on how well they tend to do. If like the Dutch they haven't gotten a place in the finals since 2004 you'll be better off putting your favourite clogs back on the mantelpiece. It's a guessing game with the two-semi finals being held the same week but if you want a safeguard option go for one of the countries that fund the competition! The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain will all get a place indefinitely in 2012 no matter how ridiculous the act due to funding. Azerbijan also are guaranteed a place in the grand finale because they were last year's winner. 

Also with all fancy dress ventures - make sure other guests (and people who view the photos later) know what country you're trying to recreate! Generally most people will be more familiar with Germany's national dress more than Bosnia & Herzegovina's, unless of course you're reading this from Eastern Europe, then hi! 

General List:- 
UK - with London 2012 coming up union Jack clothes are common place. Check Primark for Geri Halliwell-esque dresses
France - french maid, beret, Eifell tower necklace
Russia - furry hat
Iceland - Bjork and that swan
Finland - goth, Lordi
Sweden - long blonde wig, ABBA
Germany - Beer girl, giant beer can
Greece - goddess
Italy - Roman, Pope, Gangsta
Spain - Bull fighting person (refuse to Google the real name!), flamenco dancer

Also, if all this fails, there's always football strips...

The hardest part I found last year. There aren't many Russian restaurants floating around Scotland so knowing off the top of my head what constitutes as Russian cuisine wouldn't get me any game show points. Research was easy but the harder part was making it or finding it ready packaged in a local supermarket (made harder by your local supermarket being a city-centre Metro). I had settled on Bliny which did pop up in Tesco (in the seafood section!) but was sold out on my Eurovision-day shopping trip so I resorted to regular pancakes which got me a few weird looks. BE MORE ORGANISED THAN ME!

Something I've already decided on this year (if my dough skills improve) is flag pizzas! So cute! Just need to work out what topings for each colour - any advice for blue?

General List:-
France - garlic, meringues
Spain - paella
Greece - salad, feta cheese, olives
Ita;ly - pizza, pasta, olives, easiest of the bunch
Scandanavia - fish based dishes

Again, same as the country you've chosen. You don't need to share the drink - it just adds to the atmosphere if the drink you have in your hand matches your costume. But some countries still equal easier more so than others. A lot of European countries (especially Western/Southern ones) have a wine that will be available locally. Also Scandinavian countries seem to have special local potatoes that make slightly different vodkas. But again those Eastern European countries? Even Portugal and Greece are a bit awkward when it comes to these things. 

General List:-
France, Italy, Spain - finding a French/Italian/Spanish wine is any supermarket shouldn't be a difficult feat
Germany, Czech Republic - Beer
Russia, Finland, Germany, Swedish - Vodka
Ukraine, Belarus, Netherlands, Poland - all have a few vodka brands but might need to order them online
Denmark - Lagar, namely Carlsberg
UK - beer, bitters, ales
Ireland - Guiness, Irish Whiskey
Greece, Cyprus - Ouzo

Other ditbits
Drinking games exist for this but it fell flat for us. Mainly cause we didn't have exact rules and by the time the result were read no one had much drink left. Also decoration - flags. Pictures of famous Eurovision acts; re-create Azerbijan in the living room.

But most of all have fun! 

Morag x

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