This and That

Random bits of my life

Invasion of the Brides (and Pirates and Clowns and Lions)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 6, 2012

Purim costumes

Tomorrow is Ta’anit Esther, the fast that falls the day before Purim, so schools hold Purim parties today. Purim is a Jewish festival that commemorates the foiling of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews during the Persian period (see the Book of Esther). Sudden reversal of fortune is a theme that runs through the story of Esther, Mordechai, and Haman, so that things are not what they seem. This aspect of Purim is commemorated in the custom of dressing up in costumes. It is a bit reminiscent of Halloween, except that the children are giving food to their friends (custom of mishloach manot), rather than collecting it. The brides are Queen Esther. Since few girls can resist being princess for a day, white dresses and veils are everywhere.

These photos were taken from a minibus in the Sanhedria neighbourhood of Jerusalem on my way to work. They’re just snapshots and had to be colour-corrected because the van’s windows are tinted. I was sitting in the second row and some of the photos were taken between the seats, through the front windshield.

Purim costumes

I think he’s an artist. I once dressed my son as an artist and drew a mustache on his face.

Purim costumes

A Chinese girl and a nurse speak to Minnie Mouse at the bus stop.

Purim costumes

Purim costumes

Purim costumes

Purim costumes

Grocery store displaying the baskets of food that people send to their friends on Purim. You have no idea how much junk food one can accumulate! I’m so glad that we have communal mishloach manot. You check off, on a computerized list on a Web site, the families in the neighbourhood that you want to send mishloach manot to. Each family gets ONE basket of food (donated by the local mini-market and packed by local teenage volunteers) with a list of names of the senders. The money goes to charity. Most years, more than $10,000 is raised by our neighbourhood. It’s a good cause, saves a lot of headaches and shopping, and it reduces the mountain of cheap candies that used to appear in our kitchens, only one month before we have to get rid of everything for Passover. We still give a few portions of food, but the expense and effort are kept within reasonable bounds.

Purim costumes


4 Responses to “Invasion of the Brides (and Pirates and Clowns and Lions)”

  1. Miriyummy said

    When I got on the bus this morning it was filled with bees, about 10 girls all dressed alike, taking public transport to their hive. And I immediately thought of you and your camera…

  2. Darling pictures 🙂 Reminds me of the old “trick or treat night” here in the USA, where the young kids get into costumes and go throughout their neighborhoods knocking on doors for candy 🙂 Many of us do not participate anymore, since people would sabotage the candy, but Purim is a very noble celebration of Esther’s selflessness to save her people from death. Thank you for sharing the fun photographs 🙂

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Sure, I remember Halloween and trick-or-treating! I imagine it’s changed a lot since I was a kid. The world is a less friendly place for that kind of activity. Thanks for commenting!

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