Purim 2018: history, peculiarities and traditions
Jewish nation has a lot of different holidays, both serious and joyful. One of the brightest and most enchanting of them is Purim. Every Jew knows what this holiday is. It is honored by adults and loved very much by children. During these days you should rejoice and have fun, praising the miraculous salvation of Jews.
“Chag Purim sameach!”
The holiday is considered to be the most joyful in Jewish calendar not without purpose. There are some irreplaceable attributes proving that:
- sweets and yummy treats;
- masks and carnival costumes;
- songs, dances and a lot of positive emotions.
A traditional holiday meal: triangular cakes made from short pastry with sweet poppy seed, berry or fruit filling – gomentash, translated as “ears of Haman”. And that’s not the only thing in which the traitor was “memorialized”. During the reading of the Scroll of Esther ratchets, stamping and other noise effects are used when his name is mentioned, aimed to howl down words about the enemy.
Traditions of the holiday of Purim
It is a custom to send baskets with treats to your relatives, friends and acquaintances on this day. Those who are in need get large gifts. Children and adults take part in carnival performances, Purimspiel, with pleasure. Plays dedicated to the events of Purim may be amateur or professional ones. Do you want to become inspired with the spirit of Purim? The photos from carnival marches will create a feeling of magic and holiday foretaste.
A little bit of history. Purim – the Jewish memory
Although the celebration itself is joyful, its history is connected with events that were not so cheerful. They bring us 2000 years back to the times of usurper Achashverosh’s rule in the Persian kingdom.
According to ancient prophecies, the Babylonian rule over Jews should have been lasting for 70 years. Even without knowing and believing in Judaic God, Achashverosh was still afraid of the predicted to come true. When according to his calculations the 70-year period was over and nothing happened, the king made a great feast. The vessels of the Temple served as decorations for the tables.
The Jews were invited to the feast. Many of them didn’t listen to Mordechai’s advice and started enjoying forbidden meals and drinks. And even after seeing the desecrated sanctuaries they didn’t leave the feast. Haman’s victimization became the Godly punishment for Jews in return.
During the celebration the king’s wife, an obstinate beauty and a hater of Jews named Vashti, has refused to come out to the guests on her husband’s demand and was executed on the Jewish holiday of Shabbos. The ruler called potential brides from all over his kingdom.
The role of a king’s wife was given to Mordechai’s cousin, charming Esther. The husband didn’t show interest to the background of his new queen, and she tried to keep it a secret in turn. Mordechai had a premonition about the role his foster child will play in future.
And his premonitions turned out to be true. When Haman, an idolater and a liar, has decided to exterminate all the Jews, beautiful Esther was exactly the one who saved her nation.
Haman, who cherished a hatred to all the Jews and Mordechai personally, assured the king that Yehudi are hatching a plot. The schemer received king’s ring that gave him the right to give orders on behalf of the king. Haman hurried to punish his enemies. A threat hanged over the Jewish nation.
Being a superstitious person, the prime minister decided to cast lots in order to determine the day of Jews’ execution. The thirteenth of Adar has cast. The fasting before holiday begins on this day. And the name “Purim” itself derives from the word “lot”.
After hearing that the traitor ordered to slaughter the Jews, Mordechai went to his foster daughter. Esther, who was not afraid of the king’s anger, went to his room without invitation. All her servants and compatriots have received an instruction beforehand, which told to keep fasting; it is observed by Jews on the eve of the great holiday until now.
Esther, who was a wise woman, didn’t ask for salvation at once. She just invited her husband to a feast. After the king got drunk he asked what does his most precious wife want. Just then she told him about the enemy’s insidious plan. Haman was hanged on a tree which he “has prepared” for Mordechai. The king who was not able to cancel the decree about the extermination of Jews allowed the compatriots of his wife to protect themselves. On the 14th of Adar the enemies of Jews were exterminated. And on the 15th the trial overtook those who were outside the walls of Shushan.
Because of that, the dates of Purim’s celebration are different. The first day of salvation is celebrated on the fourteenth of Adar. On the fifteenth Shushan Purim is celebrated. These days were sacrificed by Heavens.
This year’s celebration is going to be more colourful and joyful than usual. A few months before the holiday, everybody already knows the date when Purim will embrace the Jewish community with its magic. The Jews are looking forward eagerly to the brightest event of the year.
The date of Purim in 2018 is set on the beginning of spring (February 28, March 1).
If you don’t have any plans for these days, welcome to us! Let’s celebrate together!