Halloween in Spring? No, the Jewish Holiday of Purim!


Dressing up as your favorite hero or idol, enjoying scrumptious pastries, and attending fun parties . . . could it be Halloween in Spring? Not at all! It is the Jewish holiday called Purim.

Purim is one of the most exciting and joyous holidays on the Jewish calendar. The holiday honors a time when Jewish people’s lives were spared from extermination. It is a time to celebrate!

There are many Jewish holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. Each one of them
has fun traditions and customs to learn about. In my opinion, Purim is the most fun Jewish holiday and is a fantastic holiday for families to celebrate together.

Halloween in Spring? No, the Jewish Holiday of Purim!Purim tells the story of how 2,500 years ago (yes, you read that correctly . . . 2,500 years
ago) a good queen named Esther saved the Jewish people from a wicked man named Haman. The Book of Esther, one of the five biblical books written in a scroll (known in Hebrew as a megillah), tells the story of how the King of Persia named Ahashuerus picks a striking beauty named Esther to be his new queen.

» » » » » » » »  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Ultimate Guide to Spring in El Paso  « « « « « « « « «

The evil Haman, the King’s arrogant advisor, resents the Jewish people and makes a secret plan to destroy them all. But little do the King and Haman know . . . Esther is Jewish! After marrying the King and becoming Queen Esther, she courageously tells the King that she is
Jewish, foiling Haman’s plot to destroy her people.

On Purim, we celebrate Esther’s bravery.

The first commandment of the holiday is to read the Book of Esther aloud for the whole community to hear. We shake noisemakers (called gragers in Hebrew) every time the name of the evil Haman is mentioned. These gragers make lots of noise to drown out the name of Haman!

Halloween in Spring? No, the Jewish Holiday of Purim!Then we celebrate by having parties or fun-filled carnivals, dressing up in costumes, and eating delightful, sweet treats. We also commemorate the holiday by acting out skits depicting Queen Esther’s bravery and the downfall of Haman.

We also give michloach manot (Hebrew for customary gifts of chocolate, nuts, fruits, and drinks). Young children can help decorate and fill the goodie bags which makes this a fun family activity. Giving charity to people in need is also customary. It teaches children the importance of giving and caring for others.

Children and adults alike love celebrating this holiday because it encourages togetherness, creativity, and focusing on small miracles in a way that is both playful and meaningful.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Romee Hebert
Romee was born and raised in El Paso. She struggled through years of IVF and was blessed to become a mommy in her forties. She's looking forward to shining a light on being an older mommy in this community. She has a BA in Broadcast Communication, with a minor in Women’s Studies and Psychology. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to Los Angeles to begin college and then moved overseas to Wiesbaden, Germany. During the next few years, she got a truly enriching, cultural, and fulfilling education by traveling through Europe, working as a bartender, as an announcer for the American Forces Network in Frankfurt, and as a lifeguard on the Italian Rivera. Later, Romee moved back to the U.S. and continued her career in broadcasting and in mental health. She has also worked as an actress for local and national commercials. She currently serves on the Keystone Heritage Park Board and the Down Syndrome Coalition. In the past she has served on JFED’s Jewish Film Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, the Committee on Border Relations, and other boards. Being a mommy to her miracle boy and girl twins born in November 2014, destigmatizing mental illness, dancing, enjoying animals, and traveling are her passions.


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