Purim for kids
Purim, one of the most joyful and energetic holidays of the Jewish calendar, falls on the 8th of March this year. Will you be attending a parade, dressing up in fancy dress or baking some traditional Hamantaschen this year?
by Steven McKinnon, Mindful Mum, March 5th 2012
- What is Purim?
- The story of Purim?
- How is Purim celebrated?
- Hamantaschen recipe
- Watch a video of a Purim fancy dress parade
Purim is a holiday that celebrates the victory of the Jews of Persia over Haman, a royal aide, in the fourth century B.C.E.
Usually occurring in March when calculated with the western calendar, Purim is celebrated on the 14th and 15th of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar, and is one of the most fun and joyous of Jewish holidays.
The story of Purim is detailed in the Book of Esther (or the Megillah, which means ‘scroll’). The Book recounts how Esther, a Jewish exile, was selected by King Ahasuerus to become his new queen.
However, not long after Esther is crowned, her cousin Mordechai offends the king’s right-hand man, the Grand Vizier Haman, by refusing to bow down to him. In retaliation, Haman orders the execution of all the Jewish citizens in Persia on the 13th of Adar.
When Mordechai finds out about this, he sends Esther a message, instructing her to convince the king to halt Haman’s annihilation of her people.
Esther tells the king that both she and her people are in danger and the king, outraged that his queen’s life has been put in jeopardy, orders Haman’s death, bequeathing his estate to Mordechai, and affording Esther the power to overturn his orders.
Esther then gives the Jews the right to protect themselves should anyone still take up arms against them on the 13th of Adar, as per Haman’s orders, while the 14th of Adar is spent feasting, and declared to be an annual celebration of Esther’s victory of Hadar.
Purim is one of the most rapturous holidays in the Jewish calendar, and is celebrated with plays, carnivals and parades. It is very common for people to dress up for the occasion, both in their best formal wear, and fancy dress.
The most common tradition at Purim is to attend a reading of the Book of Esther in a synagogue, both on Purim and the day before, and then eat hamantaschen (which means ‘Haman’s pockets’), a sweet triangular pastry often filled with fruit or poppy seeds.
It is also customary to donate money and food to charities over Purim.
If you’re celebrating Purim with your little one, why not try our hamantaschen recipe below?
- 3 eggs
- 200 grams of caster sugar
- 175 millilitres of vegetable oil
- 2.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 110 millilitres of orange juice
- 675 grams of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 300 grams of fruit preserves (the choice of flavour is yours, feel free to make an assortment!)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/gas mark 4, and grease some baking trays.
- In a large bowl, bear the eggs and flour until they are fluffy, then stir in the vanilla, orange juice and oil.
- Combine the flour and baking powder, then stir into the egg mixture to form a stiff dough. Feel free to add more flour if the dough is too stiff.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a quarter of an inch in thickness, then cut into circles. Place the circles onto the greased baking trays,5 centimetres/2 inches apart.
- Using a dessertspoon, spoon some of your fruit preserves into middle of each circle, then roll the edges inwards to create a triangle.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, removing the biscuits from the oven when they are lightly browned.
- Remove the biscuits and place onto a baking tray to cool, then serve. Voila!
Photography: Nate Steiner @Flickr