How Purim is Celebrated Today

Purim is a festive Jewish occasion that has many times been compared to the United States Mardi Gras celebrations. Others have said that it is like Christmas because of the gifting and generosity surrounding the event.  Purim is actually a celebration of freedom and redemption.

The story is a beautiful one. It starts with a common Jewish orphan becoming a queen and eventually allowing her people not only to live but to protect themselves against their enemies. They rose up and conquered their foes. It is all marked in the book of Esther.

The celebrations involve drinking and food. There is also a lot of fun and costumes. While costumes were once restricted to that of the characters in the Megillah, today may different types are worn.

Role playing in recognition of the historical events that led to the celebrations is a significant part of this custom. Purim is observed on the 15t of Adar (Jewish calendar). The festivities normally kick off on the 14th of Adar.

Adults and children will all come together to mark the occasion. The Megillah is read or reenacted telling the story of the Jewish people’s deliverance and redemption as told in the book of Esther.  One of Purim’s symbols is a wooden noise maker called a gragger. The gragger is used to make noise much like the stomping at the mention of Haman’s name in the readings of the Megillah.

Purim is a time of year that sparks a lot of generosity from the Jewish community. The Jewish people believe that this is the time to give to others. A lot of food baskets and gifts are involved in the Purim tradition. It is a merry celebration in remembrance of their history and of their heritage.

There are a variety of events that take place during this time.  Morning and afternoon prayers are conducted. Schools oftentimes hold special events. Many celebrations will include costumes and drinking. The fun and dancing seems endless! Purim is recognized in Israel as a public holiday.

This is a generous time for Jewish families. It is also joyful, and the occasion is laced with bittersweet memories of ages gone by. It is a beautiful celebration that embraces a very historic meaning; in many ways it is a symbolic journey for the Jewish culture and its people every year.

This journey began so many thousands of years ago with a Jewish orphan named Esther. She became a Persian Queen and set her people free.  It is definitely a Holiday worth celebrating no matter where you are from or what your religious preferences may be.

The History of Purim

Purim is a Jewish holiday that has an amazing history. It is a celebration of deliverance and redemption. Purim’s beginning is well documented in the book of Esther, where the Jews were delivered from their foes. This freedom inspired the festive celebration.

The story begins with a Jewish orphan named Esther. She was betrothed to the king of Persia. She did not revealing her identity as a Jew to him until the time came that she had to stand for her people. She did this selflessly even at the risk of her own life.

After the King found that Esther’s life had been threatened he was enraged. He found out that Haman was the one threatening Esther’s life. The King then made Mordecai who was Esther’s Jewish relative the owner of Haman’s estate.  This was a great victory for the Jewish people.

Haman had ordered that all of the Jews be killed. Esther gained the right to overturn the orders of Haman. She granted her people the rights to protect themselves as well as the right to assemble. The Jews were able to defeat their attackers.  Mordecai declared that day be remembered annually. This birthed the yearly celebration of Purim.

Every year, people gather together to celebrate the Jews deliverance as Mordecai declared. This event is not taken as seriously as many of their more ritualistic synagogue ceremonies. It is a very meaningful time in the lives of every Jew regardless of the lighthearted atmosphere surrounding the celebration.

Purim includes feasting and gifting. All of the old time favorite holiday Jewish themed dishes are involved in the festivities. Food is a key part of the Purim celebrations. The event marks a time to be generous and giving to your fellow man. Oftentimes costumes are worn by Purim partygoers.

Many people looking back over the years have described Purim as the Mardi Gras of the Jewish culture with a little dash of Christmas spirit. There are songs, games and food dishes that have been a part of the Purim tradition for centuries. It is a magical event that remembers the Jewish people’s journey to freedom. It also recognizes a Jewish orphan who became a Queen and saved her people. These traditions and what they represent will live on in the hearts of those celebrations and the people who attend them for many more centuries to come.