Bring on the goodies, because here comes Purim. This holiday, which is one of the most raucous of Jewish holidays, begins this year on Wednesday evening, March 4, 2015, and continues through Thursday night, March 5. Historically, this holiday celebrates Queen Esther’s brave and successful efforts to save the Jews of Persia from extermination. It also calls on Jews to rejoice in costume and to give goodies to neighbors and friends.
You can see sweet little girls running around, dressed as the beautiful queen. Boys on the other hand, take their turn at dressing up as her valiant cousin Mordecai, who refused to bow down to the evil Haman. And there are feathered masks all around used for “disguise.” This is an allusion to the fact that the miracle of Purim was disguised in natural garments. This is also the significance behind a traditional Purim food, the hamantash — a pastry whose filling is hidden within a three-cornered crust.
Here is a handy Purim to-do list for you so you can cover all your holiday bases.
1. Listen to the Megillah
To relive the miraculous events of Purim, listen to the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) twice: once on Purim eve, Wednesday night, March 4, and again on Purim day, March 5.
2. Give to the Needy
Concern for the needy is a year-round responsibility; but on Purim it is a special mitzvah to remember the poor.
3. Send Food Portions to Friends (Mishloach Manot)
On Purim we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by sending gifts of food to friends.
4. And most importantly, Eat, Drink and Be Merry!
Purim should be celebrated with a special festive meal on Purim day, at which family and friends gather together to rejoice in the Purim spirit. _