Purim is a lively Jewish holiday that is full of costumes, pageants and traditional cookies called “hamantaschen.” It’s especially kid-friendly, and revolves around a central story that features an interfaith marriage. Since the dates of Purim are determined by the Hebrew calendar, it changes every year. This year, Purim 2022 starts at sundown Wednesday, March 16 and ends Thursday night, March 17—which is also when St. Patrick’s Day is!
Purim is often compared to Halloween and Mardi Gras because there’s a lot of partying and many like to dress up for the holiday. If you want to greet someone on Purim, you can simply say, “Happy Purim” or “Chag Purim Sameach” in Hebrew
What’s the story that is read on Purim?
It’s called the Book of Esther or the Megillat (“Scroll of”) Esther. The Megillat is read twice over the holiday, once in the evening when Purim officially begins and once the following day.
Family, friends and synagogues often have a lot of fun when retelling this triumphant story of an unlikely heroine—in an interfaith marriage—and the downfall of an evil villain. Children dress up, actors put on a play of the tale and everyone sings along. Check out our Purim booklet to get all the important details on the Megillat, including who is who and how this story shines a light on interfaith marriages, feminism and the LGBTQ community.
How do we celebrate Purim?
There are so many ways to take part in this holiday; everyone will be able to find something that works for their schedules and practices. Here are some ideas below:
Dress up—Because you’re never too young or too old to put on a costume. Spend the day all dressed up with your family or kids. If you’re looking for inspiration for your kids, check out Kveller’s list of the “9 Best Purim Costumes You Can Buy on Amazon Right Now.” And you can always decorate your own mask if you’re not up for buying something.
Give back—Make a little goodie bag of treats, a mishloah manot, and give it out to friends and family. Think about those in need and pick a local charity to donate to; giving charity on Purim is called matanot l’eyvanim.
Bake hamantaschen (traditional Purim cookies)—These triangular-shaped cookies are a lot of fun to make, and we’ve got all types of flavors for you to try. They’re named after the evil villain, Haman, and are supposed to look like Haman’s pointed hat.
18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.