What Is Purim?
Pu·rim /ˈpo͝orim,po͝oˈrēm/ – a Jewish festival held in spring (on the 14th or 15th day of Adar). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.
Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.
Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued—granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated.
Celebration of Purim
Reading of the megillah (book of Esther), which recounts the story of the Purim miracle.
Giving money gifts to the poor.
Sending gifts of food to friends.
A festive Purim feast.
Children dress up in disguising costumes.
Here are some fun activities you can do with your kids during the Purim celebration:
Purim Coloring Pages
Instructions: Save the images to your computer. Print. Color with media of your choice. Enjoy.
Purim Printable Coloring Masks
Instructions: Save the images to your computer. Print. Glue to the thicker card stock. Color with media of your choice. Attach elastic string to the mask. Wear.