A Celebration of the Triumph of Good over Evil
The holiday of Purim is celebrated every year in the Jewish month of Adar, four weeks before Passover. Purim is plural for the word Pur, which means “lot”. It refers to the evil plot of Haman who drew lots to determine the best day to eliminate the Jewish people who lived in the Persian Empire during the days of King Achashverosh (Xerxes I).
Purim celebrates the wonderful miracle and the reversal of fortune experienced by the Jews of Persia (Iran). The customs of Purim include hearing the Scroll of Esther (the Megillah) read in the synagogue; gifting foods and delicacies to family, friends and neighbors; giving charity to the poor; and eating a festive meal. Another inextricable part of Purim and perhaps the most enjoyable one is the tradition that is primarily but not exclusively carried out by kids: Dressing in a myriad of colorful costumes. Masquerading on Purim commemorates the fact that the miracle of Purim was not obvious but disguised as natural events (i.e. Queen Esther’s marriage and her influence on her husband, the powerful king of Persia).
*(Mordechai was actually Queen Esther’s cousin, but in the book he’s referred to as Uncle Mordechai. The reason for the title “uncle” is the assumption that since Mordechai, who raised young Esther after her parents perished, was addressed by her as “uncle” as an expression love and respect).
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