Purim 2011

Everything you need to know to celebrate the holiday.

Purim begins at sunset on Saturday, March 19, 2011. Its celebration continues through sunset on Sunday, March 20, 2011.

What is Purim?

Purim is the holiday that celebrates how the Jews of Persia were saved from extermination at the hands of Haman, an evil advisor to the king. Purim’s heroine is Queen Esther, who persuaded her husband, the king, to save the Jews and punish Haman instead. The whole story appears in the Bible, in the Book of Esther, also called Megillat Esther or just “the megillah.”

What are some Purim customs and practices?

The megillah is read twice over Purim. It is a custom for some, especially children, to dress up in costumes. During the reading of the megillah, when Haman’s name is said, people jeer and make noises with graggers (noisemakers). It is also traditional to hand out mishloach manot, or gift baskets, to friends and loved ones, and to make special donations to the poor.

•  Make your own creative mishloach manot basket
•  Do-it-yourself gragger art project

hamantaschenWhat foods are traditionally eaten on Purim?

Purim celebrations are typically heavy on the junk food. Here are some traditional Purim recipes:

•  Hamantaschen
•  Meat Kreplach
•  Candy Infused Vodka

Discover More

The Esther/Vashti Purim Flag

The new tradition of waving a flag when Esther and Vashti's names are mentioned celebrates the triumph of these Purim heroines.

Purim History

How the events chronicled in the Book of Esther inspired a holiday.

A History of Purim

How this festival became a time for merriment and satire.