Published on Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 9:43am
Purim is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, a month of the Hebrew Calendar. This year, Purim begins on the evening of Saturday, March 15 and ends on the evening of Sunday, March 16. We will be celebrating Purim here at the Children's Room on the second floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Sunday, March 16, at 3 p.m.
Purim is a celebration of the Jewish people's salvation against threat of annihilation. In 4th century BCE, King Ahasuerus of Persia had a pageant to find a new wife after becoming angry with his current wife, Queen Vashti. He chose a Jewish girl named Esther, who had a cousin named Mordecai. Haman, the King's advisor, became angry with Mordecai when he refused to bow to him. Because of this, Haman resolved to have all the Jews in Persia killed.
Queen Esther, who had not yet told the King that she was Jewish, told the King that if he let Haman kill all the Jews, he would have to kill her too. The King protected his wife and her people, and instead had evil Haman punished.
Purim, therefore, is a celebration of life, and is a time for feasts and happiness. Hamantaschen, or "Haman's pockets" are pastries traditionally served during Purim.
It is also customary to give to the poor during Purim, as well as dress in costume. This is partially because "Esther" means "hidden," and because she hid her Jewish origin from the King in the beginning. Another reason for wearing costumes during the holiday is that Purim is called a miracle "disguised in natural events," in comparison to overt miracles seen in other Jewish holidays.
One fun thing for children to do during Purim is make groggers, or noisemakers. These noisemakers are to be used whenever the name "Haman" is spoken, so as to drown out the evil name.
By joining us for our Purim Party at the Library, you will get to taste hamantaschen and make your own groggers! You will also get to participate in an interactive storytelling of the Purim holiday and go on a noisy parade throughout the library, so be sure to come in costume!
This program is for children ages 0-12 and their parents/ caregivers. No registration is necessary.
Please call the Children's Room at 202-727-1248 if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!