News Article


Purim is a significant Jewish holiday celebrated annually, commemorating the salvation of the Jewish people from the threat of annihilation in ancient Persia, as recounted in the biblical Book of Esther. The holiday typically falls in the Hebrew month of Adar, usually occurring in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. 

The story of Purim revolves around Queen Esther, a Jewish woman who, with the help of her cousin Mordechai, thwarted the wicked plans of Haman, an advisor to the Persian king, who sought to exterminate the Jewish population. Through Esther's bravery and the divine intervention, the Jewish people were saved from destruction, and Haman met his downfall. 

Customs and Traditions of Purim 

Purim is marked by several customs and traditions, including the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) in synagogue services. During the reading, congregants use noisemakers called "groggers" to drown out the name of Haman whenever it is mentioned, symbolising the desire to blot out his memory. 

Another customary practice is the exchange of gifts known as Mishloach Manot, where people give packages of food and drink to friends, family, and neighbours. Additionally, Purim is a time for festive meals, featuring traditional dishes such as hamantaschen (triangular pastries filled with sweet fillings) and kreplach (filled dumplings). 

Costume wearing is also a prominent aspect of Purim celebrations, with many people dressing up in elaborate costumes, often depicting characters from the Purim story or other creative themes. This tradition adds a joyful and playful element to the holiday, encouraging participation and community engagement. 

Purim is a time for charitable giving, with Jews encouraged to give to those in need through acts of tzedakah (charity). Supporting the less fortunate is a fundamental aspect of Purim observance, reflecting the themes of compassion and solidarity inherent in the holiday. 

How can you celebrate? 

Purim Takes London 2024 - UJS is hosted by UJS (Union of Jewish Students), there are still some tickets left! 

The West London Synagogue are also hosting a range of festivities, which you can find here. They will be hosting a spirited reading of the Megillah (Esther), followed by a themed Spiel (show) performed by rabbis and wardens in fabulous costumes, and an ‘after party’.   


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