It’s time for Purim! The exciting Jewish holiday just began on March 23 with festivals, treats, dancing, and costumes. But what exactly is being celebrated? Find out with five fast facts about Purim right here!
Purim Sameah! In case you aren’t familiar with Hebrew, that means Happy Purim. What’s Purim, you ask? It’s one of the most exciting celebrations in the Jewish calendar, marking the Jewish community’s survival from Haman, an ancient Persian Empire leader who tried to annihilate it thousands of years ago. The holiday kicked off on the evening of March 23, so get to know more about the celebration below!
1. It’s not always celebrated on March 23.
While the holiday takes place from the evening of March 23 through sunset on March 24 this year, the actual date of Purim always changes. It’s celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, so it’s not even on the same day of the week every year!
2. The holiday’s name has Persian origins.
The word Purim comes from the Persian word for “lot,” as Haman drew lots while he was plotting who to kill first amongst the Jewish community. Rather dark, but hey, at least the celebrations aren’t!
3. Purim is celebrated in several different ways.
Although some people may view Purim as an excuse to party, there’s actually much more to the joyous holiday than just the drinking and rowdy celebrations. Jewish adults provide retellings of the Book of Ester story to children, as it’s the whole reason for the holiday. Amidst the parades and plays that take place on the holiday, those who celebrate are also encouraged to donate to the poor, send food to friends — and of course, eat a big feast of meat and wine!
4. There’s special cookies dedicated to the holiday!
If you’re seeing people eating triangular cookies on March 23 or 24, they’re likely nomming on hamantaschens (Haman pockets). These filled cookies symbolize the hidden nature of Purim, as the filling is hidden, and their three points supposedly represent Haman’s tri-cornered hat. The filling can be anything, but you’ll mainly find them filled with fruit, poppy seeds, and chocolate. Yum!
5. Synagogue is a bit rowdier on Purim.
Those who attend a worship service to commemorate Purim get to do something a little crazier than the average synagogue: Yell! Congregants use noisemakers (called groggers) and their voices to make as much noise as possible whenever they hear Haman’s name during the reading of the Megillah. Just one more exciting way to mark such an important day in Jewish history!
Do you celebrate Purim, HollywoodLifers? What’s your favorite part about the holiday? Tell us below!