All through Israel, children — and adults! — are dressing up to celebrate the holiday of Shushan Purim before and after listening to the reading of the Megillah, the Book of Esther.
Some have dressed up as characters from the story of Purim itself, others as characters from modern-day Israeli life, still others as characters from movies or animations such as ‘super heroes’ and other colorful big-screen personalities.
On Saturday night and Sunday the holiday was celebrated with parties, feasting and giving of food packages to friends and family members in cities without walls throughout the country.
But the wildest celebrations began Sunday evening with the reading of the Megillah in the eternal capital of Israel, the holy city of Jerusalem, and the other walled cities of the country.
Numerous groups of yeshiva students are likely to be roaming the streets in their neighborhoods, singing and dancing, entertaining at homes to collect money for those in need.
At the Bible Lands Museum children are able to enter for free. They’ll see characters from the Book of Esther, among other interesting things.
Jerusalem has so much happening, in so many different places. To find a list of what’s happening where, courtesy of the City of Jerusalem, click here.
During the day on Monday, in Jerusalem especially, expect to see lots of costumes and happy faces.
There are all kinds of activities taking place in the capital, including a Purim Carnival on Jaffa Road, with the star of Galis — Ben Adam, Noah Kirl, Manny Mamtera, Kofiko and Yuval HaMebulbal at Safra Square, the site of the largest street party in the country for children.
There will also be a Purim Happening “Happy Village” Emek Refaim with free street performances and distribution of coupons for surprise selections of gifts in businesses.
The second day of the celebrations — the day which is called “Shushan Purim — is celebrated in walled cities because that is the day on which the Jews in the capital of ancient Persia, the city of Shushan, finally completed their battles against their enemies and were able to celebrate with feasting throughout the city.
Queen Esther and her uncle, the King’s viceroy, Mordechai, established that henceforth Purim would be observed in cities without walls on the 14th of Adar — when Jews won their battles against their enemies and were able to rest and celebrate their victories — and in walled cities on the 15th of Adar.
And thus it is to this day, 2,500 years later.