Mar 5, 2012

Happy Purim Memories of Sparkly Princesses, Carnivals and Giving

By Jennifer Bjork

One of the things I love most about Purim is that we get the chance to really let loose. I love the noise, the food, the drinks, and especially the costumes. It’s the one time of year when Jewish people get to have a really good party that feels like a mix of Halloween and New Year’s Eve with all the sparkle, noisemakers, and candy.

Artwork by Peter Church from The Purim Surprise
Playing dress-up was a frequent childhood pastime and I was exuberant at the chance to legitimately dress up in my fanciest costumes. I snatched at the opportunity to be a sparkly princess for three straight but glorious years. I have very strong memories of myself sashaying down the hallways of my synagogue during the Purim carnival, waving as elegantly as I could at my royal subjects.
Throw in my family’s fantastic hamentashen, getting to scream in the sanctuary during the Megillah reading, and carnival prizes; my parents ended up with a very happy kid.
And as any decent member of royalty knows, doing mitzvot during Purim is very important to show that the Jewish community remains strong despite Haman’s bad deeds. My Hebrew school class would always devote a class period putting together mishloach manot full of hamentashen to give to our family members and gather donated non-perishable goods from them to give to the local food shelf.
While I have graduated from the dress-up days, I am very much looking forward to this year’s carnival and watching all the new, young sparkly princesses (and princes!) enjoy themselves. I’ll be the one serving nachos.
What are your favorite Purim costumes? How does your community give mishloach manot?

To help your kids learn about Purim, dress up in your best Purim costumes, grab a copy of  The Queen Who Saved Her People and put on a play. If you need some inspiration, read about how the characters of  Barnyard Purim stage their own play!

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