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The Purim story is not really a story at all but is a festival celebrated to remember God’s faithfulness to Israel in saving His people from death through the faithful acts of Queen Esther. This is a joyous festival and is full of songs, food, parties, costumes and lots of excitement.
Read on to read a little bit about the Festival of Purim but if you want to read the Purim story of Esther, visit this post to learn what is behind this holiday, which is one of my favorites!
The Purim Story – What Goes into the Festival of Purim
The Festival of Purim
The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. It commemorates and celebrates the defeat of Haman’s plot, according to the Book of Esther (known as the Megillah):
While Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, Haman’s plot to kill the Jewish people was actually the 13th day. In reality, Esther and Mordecai received a royal edict that allowed the Jews to attack their enemies on Adar 13.
They won the victory and so they declared that the following day would be a day of remembrance and celebration. Each year, the Festival of Purim serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people.
The Celebration of the Festival of Purim
What Does Purim Mean?
Purim means ‘lots’ in Hebrew, tying into the lots that were cast to choose the date to carry out the plot against the Jewish people.
As I mentioned, the festival of Purim is a joyous holiday that celebrates and commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman and his plot to annihilate them.
It is a day full of fun and celebration, but it is also a day of charity as it is written in Esther 9:22:
Costumes are worn during the festival of Purim, particularly in Israel (and oh they get elaborate with some costumes!!).
With the events of Purim, we don’t see a “visible miracle” per se, like the parting of the Red Sea, but God’s hand is clearly at work, behind the scenes, bringing His plan to fruition.
To commemorate that, the costumes are worn to “hide oneself”, giving the appearance of one thing while something else is beneath the surface! Just like there was the “appearance” of doom for the Jews but God had a plan at work!
Here is one of my all-time favorite costumes from Israel! Yes, music and all!
Purim Recipes – Food and Drink
Poppy seeds are a staple when it comes to Purim foods! It is said that Esther, in order to hide the fact that she was Jewish, ate a vegetarian diet so that she did not have to worry about the dietary requirements of the Law.
Seeds would have been an important part of this diet! But that is an oral tradition and is not backed up in scripture!
There are also party foods and cookouts! It is just a day to eat and yes, in Judaism many do drink! In fact, there is a “mandate” in the Talmud: “a person is obligated to drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordecai” (B. Megillah 7b).
However, many do understand that drunkenness is never a good idea, and drink responsibly!
The Book of Esther in the Bible is read and every time the name “Haman” is mentioned, a lot of noise is made to drown it out! Often graggers, or noisemakers, are used to make as much noise as possible.
When Mordecai’s name is read, everyone cheers!
In Israel, it is customary to see parades held! It is a major celebration and all of Israel takes part in the various festivities!
Purim is certainly a fun day, often referred to as the Mardi Gras of Israel and celebrated by everyone from the secular to the Orthodox!
How to Connect to the Purim Story and the Festival if You’re Christian
For the Christian, you can connect to Purim by understanding that a deeper part of the festival of Purim is that it is a day to remember how God is always faithful to His people and how, no matter where we are or what challenges we face, perhaps YOU were made for such a time as this!
We never know who our lives are affecting or saving through where God has us positioned!
Like Esther, let us all always strive to face fear and trust in God!
The festival of Purim next begins at sundown on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, and ends at sundown on Thursday, March 17, 2022!
Why not celebrate God’s faithfulness to His people and attend a Purim party with your Jewish friends!!? If you do, I would love to see your photos!
Here is a video showing a bit of what the festival of Purim is like in Israel! Keep in mind, this is Purim so there IS wine!! But this is a fun video that shows some of the various celebrations!
Incidentally, the baby in the video is named Hadassah!
How awesome is it that all of this is to celebrate God and His work in the lives of His people?
Have you ever celebrated the Festival of Purim? Do you plan to learn more about it? And remember, when facing life’s trials, perhaps like Queen Esther and the Purim story you were made for such a time as this!
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We never know who our lives are affecting or saving through where God has us positioned! Like Queen Esther, let us all always strive to face fear and trust in God! Click To Tweet
CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.