For centuries the Jewish people have been dressing up to celebrate Purim and pay tribute to the bravery of Queen Esther. The festivities of the holiday include reading of the Megillah, shaking our groggers, and eating delicious hamantaschen. Are you ready for some Purim fun? Take our quiz below to see how much you know about the Jewish holiday of Purim!
6 Things to Know About the Jewish Holiday of Purim
Purim might be the most joyous Jewish holiday.
Many Jews describe the Jewish holidays using a humorous saying, “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” Most of the Jewish holidays are somber and reflective of our strength as a people. Take Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, for example, the Jewish calendar’s most somber days. However, Purim tells a similar story yet has a kid-like spirit and joyous approach. Jews around the world celebrate our victory over Haman in costume.
Purim is a Persian word.
Secondly, Purim in ancient Persian means “lots.” According to Chabad, this comes from Haman trying to “throw lots” to destroy the Jewish people. Other sources say the word is Assyrian and is based on how Haman choose a date to attack the Jews based on a lot. In Assyrian, lot is called a pur, which is where the name Purim may have come from.
It’s customary to drink wine… and lots of it.
In nearly every chapter of the Megillah (Book of Esther), someone is drinking heavily. Mordechai even commands the Jewish people to celebrate these days as “yemei mishteh v’simchah,” days of drinking and rejoicing.
Dressing up on is a must.
There are many different answers for why we dress up on Purim. First, some say we conceal our identities just as g-d did when he was “operating behind a cloak of natural events.” Second, during Queen Esther’s time, the less fortunate wore masks to protect their dignity as they went from home to home asking for donations. Third, a theme of Purim is “hiding,” just like Queen Esther initially hid her Jewish identity.
Hamantaschen is not the only Purim food, meet Kreplach.
Hamantaschen usually steal the show for the Jewish holiday of Purim but many Jews also add kreplach to the meal. Kreplach are Jewish dumplings stuffed with ground meat or potatoes and are served in chicken soup. They are traditionally in Ashkenazi homes on Rosh Hashanah and before the Yom Kippur fast. Many eat them on Purim since they go with the “hidden theme” since the ground meat is hidden inside of the dough.
The famous Purim parade in Tel Aviv is over 100 years old.
The nonstop city of Tel Aviv was founded on April 11, 1909, and it didn’t take the cities, artists and musicians, much longer to start a Purim parade. Tel Aviv’s first unofficial Purim parade was held in 1912 and shortly after the municipality adopted it as an official celebration.