Purim in Israel is not like the holiday that you are accustomed to in the United States. In Israel’s primary schools, Purim is a whole week long of events! Every day, the kids need to come with a different costume to school according to a theme that was created in advance by the teachers. For example: there is a PJ’s Day, Colors day, crazy hats day and so on.
Not only do parents need to make a different costume every day – they also need to make a Mishlocah Minot. That is not a simple as it sounds. Purim is when Israelis play their version if “Secret Santa” or “Hanukkah Harry”. We call it ‘The Dwarf and the Giant’ – where the dwarf gives the giant one small gift each day and then during the Purim festivities the dwarf gives the giant his Mishlocah Manot.
All this is fun and games – but what happens when you go to the army? Is there Purim in the army!?
Of course, there is! Purim is a religious holiday, so that means that everyone in Israel celebrates it! You might not get days off in the army (or university, or work) but there will be one day of festivities where you wear costumes, exchange Mishlochei Manot and enjoy the Purim vibe.
When University starts, things get really fun! Most universities have a Purim party, some of them have a Purim Ball, but mine (Ben Gurion) had a four- hour long party on school grounds. All classes stopped at 2PM and every single student came to campus with some of the most elaborate and original costumes you have ever seen (when the first prize is a vacation abroad – you go all out!).
But by far, the cutest things at the Ben Gurion party are the puppies wearing Purim costumes.
And let’s not forget the biggest Purim parade that happens every year in Holon where everyone comes wearing costumes to enjoy the Purim atmosphere.
Until next time…