Purim – Jewish Celebration

“Chag Purim Sameach!” (Happy Purim!)

Purim aka “Feast of Lots” is the Jewish celebration commemorating how the Jewish people were saved from persecution in the 5th Century BCE under rule of the Persian Empire. The story goes that the evil Prime Minister, Haman, convinced King Ahasuerus to execute all the Jewish people of Shushan. The hero of the story is Queen Esther, who saves the Jewish people by persuading the King to withdraw the decree and execute Haman instead. 

Purim is one of the most festive of all the Jewish holidays and is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar which happens to fall on February 25th this year. Purim traditions include: 

  • Carnivals with exciting events such as crafts, dancing and parades
  • “Misloach manot” the tradition of giving gifts of food and drink to family, friends, and those less fortunate
  • “Mattanot la-evyonim” the tradition of donating charity to the poor 
  • Dressing up and masquerading in costumes
  • “Purim spiel” comic dramatizations of the story of Purim
  • The “Megillah” or the scroll of Esther is read aloud, every time Haman’s name is mentioned the crowd stomps their feet, yells and heckles