From sundown, Saturday, Feb. 23 through evening on Sunday, Feb. 24, the Jewish holiday of Purim will be observed. This is a festive holiday, celebrating the Jews of Persia who were saved from death because of the work of Queen Esther.
Here are five more things to know about the holiday of Purim:
- Scroll of Esther—The holiday is celebrated by reading the scroll, or Megillah, which tells the story of Esther, who became Queen and saved the Jewish people after a royal decree said they would all be killed.
- Joyful Holiday—Aside from reading the story, Jews celebrate by dressing in costume, playing games and having fun with friends and family to remember how they were saved.
- Hamentashen—Jews eat triangle-shaped cookies—meant to be in the form of the hat worn by Haman, the man who set about the decree to kill the Jewish people. The cookies are usually filled with some kind of jelly or jam.
- Mishloach Manot—Jewish people send around Mishloach Manot, gifts of food and drink to friends and family, and anyone in need on this holiday. It is considered a good deed to give to anyone at this time.
- Groggers—During the reading of the Scroll of Esther, Jewish people wave groggers around, which make a lot of noise, whenever the name "Haman" is read. It is meant to block out the sound of the name of the man who tried to eradicate the Jewish people because they would not bow down before him.