Purim costumes and Purim Observances
There are four observances that a required of every Jew on Purim. However, there are also many other customs that have become part of everyone’s celebration of the day too!
The four required obsevances are:
1) To Hear of Megillah.
Megillah is a parchment scroll that contains the story of Purim in Hebrew. It is read aloud in synagogue on the night of Purim and in the day time. It is required to hear the Megillah read twice during the holiday: once at night and once during the day. The reading is often followed by community Purim parties and meals.
Jewish people are obligated to give charity to two poor people, or their synagogues may collect the charity and distribute it on their behalf.
3) Sending Gifts of Food to Friends and Family
On Purim we emphasize the need for Jewish unity and friendship, by sending gifts of food to our friends and family. The Jews are required to send at least two kinds of ready-to-eat foods to at least two people, though the packages may be more elaborate if desired.
4) Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Purim must also be celebrated with a special festive meal on Purim Day before sundown. Drinking wine or other inebriating drinks at this meal is encouraged to enhance the celebration.
A time-honored Purim custom is for children and adults to wear costumes. Many people enjoy dressing as the characters from the Purim story, but just about any costume will do!
Hamentashen in the food that is most associated with Purim. It is a three-cornered cookie that is traditionally filled with a poppy seed filling or some kind of jam. It is yet another allusion to the hidden nature of the Purim miracle. It is also said that Hamentashen resemble Haman’s three-pointed hat or his triangular ears.
Purim is an holiday where much celebration is encouraged. For example, during service, when the reader of the Megillah mentions Haman, the congregation may make noises — hissing, stamping, and rattling…