Jewish Festival Of Purim

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Food is a very important part of the Jewish Festival of Purim. Every year, Jews all over the world prepare themselves for a particularly lavish feast to commemorate the granting of Esther's intercession with King Achashverosh of Persia, to save the lives of all the Jews. In addition to the feast, gifts of food are also very strongly encouraged.

This is a perfect time to give food to anyone you know who is needy or in difficult circumstances. You will be able to celebrate the feast much more joyously yourself knowing you have brought joy to someone else's home too. If you can't afford to give much food, you can still contribute the traditional half a shekel, which in today's money is equivalent to three half dollar coins.

The Fast of Esther

If you want to fast for the Fast of Esther as part of your celebration of Purim, you should know that the fast begins 72 minutes before sunrise on March 17, and ends 40 minutes after sunset. If you fast, you are paying special homage to the three days that Esther fasted before she interceded with King Achashverosh. It is required to read the Scroll of Esther too, during Purim.

As part of the Purim festivities it has become customary for children to dress up in festive costumes and wear masks. In Jewish communities everywhere Purim is marked by the most joyous merrymaking they can devise. This often takes the form of parades and pageants. Schools often organize fun activities for the students too.

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