How much do you know about the Jewish celebration of Purim? I recently wrote a guest post on Multicultural Kid Blogs, teaching kids (and adults!) fun facts about Purim.
Click on the link to find out fun facts about Purim, such as where the name “Purim” comes from, why people eat hat-shaped cookies, and where a very special Purim was celebrated during World War II in Germany:
Are you excited for Purim? Here are some ideas for throwing a Purim party everyone will enjoy, including an amazing new Purim album for kids! So whether your kids are already familiar with Purim or learning about it for the first time, here are fun ideas and resources to plan a Purim party your kids will love. And don’t miss the big GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Purimania by Danna Banana; however, all opinions are my own.
Plan a Purim Party Your Kids Will Love
What Is Purim?
The origins of the Jewish holiday Purim go back to the Persian Empire in the 4th Century BCE. After King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed because she didn’t follow his orders, he held a beauty contest to find a new queen. The winner, Esther, was at first careful not to reveal to the king that she was Jewish, yet she was destined to become heroine for her people.
The problems began when her cousin Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, refused to bow to Haman, the Prime Minister. Furious, Haman influenced the king and set into motion a plan to kill all of the Jews. Yet Mordecai convinced Esther to intercede with the king, a very dangerous task, since anyone who visited the king without being summoned could be put to death. Yet Esther showed true courage by speaking to the king, who turned against the wicked Haman. Haman was put to death and replaced as prime minister by Mordechai. The Jewish people were saved and were finally allowed to defend themselves against their enemies.
How to Celebrate
Purim is a joyous celebration of Esther’s bravery and the triumph of good over evil. Purim starts Wednesday night, February 28 and continues through Thursday, March 1, 2018, in the US (ends March 2 in Israel). Here are some great ways to help your kids celebrate Purim and learn more about this fun holiday. (Read more in this wonderful how-to guide).
Purim is perhaps best known for the fun costumes that everyone wears. While traditionally people dressed up only as Esther, Mordechai, or the King, these days you can wear any costume you like!
Try your hand at making hamantaschen, the triangular cookies thought to represent Haman’s triangle-shaped hat. There are so many variations to love! People also send gifts of food and drinks to friends during Purim, to reinforce bonds of friendship and community.
Service to Others
Purim is also a time to think of the less fortunate. Why not do a food drive at your Purim party or collect donations for a local charity?
At the heart of Purim is the story of Queen Esther herself and how she saved the Jewish people. Read more about her as well as other Purim stories in this collection of Purim books for kids.
Make your own grogger, a special noise maker to use when you read the Purim story, so you can boo and make lots of noise whenever Haman is mentioned! Another fun activity is to color in and use these printable Purim puppets. Don’t miss these other free Purim printables, including masks and coloring pages.
And just in time for Purim is a new album from award-winning family performer Danna Banana, writer of classics like “The Goofball” and “Suddenly Summer.” Purimania is a stellar collection of tunes old and new celebrating Purim. (See details below on how you can enter to win your own copy – plus a $25 Amazon gift card!)
Danna Banana is a well-loved performer with six albums out and numerous performances across the country. He is a John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize Winner and named New York Magazine’s Best Party Entertainer. The New York Post called him a ‘ripe talent’ and a mom in New Jersey called him ’a piñata of listening pleasure’. Trained as an opera singer, he sang leading roles all over the country in such operas as La Boheme, Don Giovanni, and Carmen before turning his talents to children’s music.
While most of Danna Banana’s work is non-denominational music for kids, among his earlier albums include Bananukah!, a celebration of Hanukah. That album’s success prompted him to create Purimania.
As in Bananukah!, Purimania mixes traditional songs with his own tuneful originals. Mr. Banana offers lively versions of classics like “In Shushan”, “Wicked Man”, and “Hag Purim” while “The Purimania Song” offers up his own whimsical version of the Purim story. In “Hamantaschen Party”, he uses recipes for Hamantaschen, the traditional cookie of Purim, as his lyric– both regular and gluten-free!
My kids and I have been listening to Purimania over and over – it is irresistible! The songs on this album are sure to add the element of fun to any Purim party and make everyone – adults and kids – want to get up and dance!
Check out Purimania! It’s the funniest, most danceable Purim music ever! Let’s party like it’s 330 B.C.! Here’s the title video:
And now for our big giveaway! One lucky reader will win a digital copy of Purimania plus a $25 Amazon gift card! All you need to do to enter is comment below with your favorite character from the Purim story.
Giveaway ends Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at midnight PT. Winner chosen by random drawing.
Purim is coming, and I have gathered together the best FREE Purim printables out there! They are guaranteed fun for you and your kids, as part of your celebrations of this fun holiday. From masks and puppets to coloring pages and activities, there is something for everyone!
This post is part of our annual Purim for Kids blog hop. Visit the posts below for great ideas about sharing this holiday with the kids in your life! Don’t miss our blog hop from last year, and you can find even more ideas on our Purim board on Pinterest:
Purim is just around the corner, so here are some of our favorite Purim children’s books. Some tell the story of Queen Esther, while others describe how Purim is celebrated today, and still others are about a particular experience related to the holiday. We have enjoyed reading these, as we were not very familiar with Purim previously.
Purim Books about Queen Esther
The story of Queen Esther is a fantastic tale, full of intrigue, betrayal, and, ultimately, triumph. The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale tells of how a Hebrew maiden became the Queen of Persia and risked her own life to save her people from a plot to destroy them. Eric A Kimmel is a well known children’s author whose books have received National Jewish Book Awards. He was also awarded the Sydney Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award.
Queen Esther Saves Her People is another popular version of the story of Queen Esther and her bravery in saving her people from the schemes of the wicked official Haman.
Individual Purim Stories
Jane Breskin Zalben has written a wonderful series of picture books about Jewish holidays, including Happy New Year, Beni, which I included in my collection of Rosh Hashanah books. Goldie’s Purim is about a little bear and her family who are preparing to celebrate Purim together. Goldie has the lead role of Esther in the Purim play, but she is nervous! Then Goldie remembers how brave Esther was and decides she can be brave, too. This is a really sweet book about courage that also shows children many of the important elements of Purim.
As Purim approaches, Herschel wishes he could help his mother more, as she struggles to support them. But Herschel is blind and so there is only so much he can do to help – or is there? When an angel appears to him in a dream and encourages him to “see” what is in his mind, Herschel discovers a natural talent that can help his mother and provide a secure future for them both. Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale is a beautiful story of love and learning to trust in yourself.
Raisel’s Riddle is a Cinderella story set in Poland. Raisel is an orphan who goes to the city as a young woman, where she finds work in the house of a rabbi. The rabbi’s cook is jealous of Raisel and treats her cruelly, but Raisel’s luck changes one day when her kindness to an old beggar women is rewarded with three wishes. These enable Raisel to attend the Purim play, where she meets the rabbi’s son, who has no idea she is the same girl that works in his own home. I love that this story turns on a riddle that Raisel tells the rabbi’s son about wisdom, and that it is her cleverness that steals his heart.
Just for Fun Purim Books
The little old lady is making hamantaschen for Purim, but her lazy pets won’t help. The animals always have an excuse, but they aren’t actually lazy: See what special surprise they are planning while their beloved owner bakes! The Better-Than-Best Purim is a really cute book for young readers. Includes a note about the history of Purim and how it is celebrated, plus a recipe for hamantaschen.
Barnyard Purim is an adorable story for young children about Purim. When Farmer Max leaves for a Purim play, the bayryard animals decide to put on one of their own. But when a wolf sneaks in and is mistaken for Haman, the shy Duck (in the role of Esther) must be brave and save the day!