Dressing up in costumes for Purim is a tradition that Jewish children and adults look forward to all year long. While non-Orthodox Jews will dress up for Halloween, most observant Jews refrain from that celebration, as it is not a Jewish holiday. Their time to dress in costume is Purim.
Jews dress up for in costumes for Purim on the 14th of Adar on the Jewish calendar. That occurs sometime in late February to mid-March on our calendar.
There are many different costumes for children to dress in. Some children reuse their Halloween costumes and go to the Purim carnival and the service dressed as their favorite character. It is not unusual to see Harry Potter, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Mario sitting in the sanctuary, or playing games and eating snacks together at the Purim carnival.
While some children and adults reuse their Halloween costumes, many like to dress as one of the characters in the Purim story.
Queen Esther, the brave young woman who saved the Jews from certain death, is the favorite Purim character for girls both young and old to dress up as. The Queen Esther costume pictured here is a favorite. Many girls will reuse their favorite Disney Princess costume with all of the accessories. Others will wear an elegant dress they wore to a wedding or Bat Mitzvah, layer on the jewelry and put glitter in their hair. This is a chance to wear make up, too!
Vashti, the poor banished first wife of King Ahashverosh, is not a person that the young girls typically dress as. She is not a major character in the Purim story told to children, although she is an important one.
However, many older girls will dress up as Vashti, a woman who stood up for herself and refused to dance for her husband, the King, and his friends. A Vashti costume can be more adult or revealing, but make sure to cover up when going into the sanctuary!
Mordechai, the dear cousin of Esther who told her she had to reveal her identity to the king in order to save her people, is a popular Purim costume for boys because he is one of the story's good guys. Boys can wear a hat, a beard and mustache and a simple, peasant looking costume.
King Ahashverosh, who loved Esther with all his heart, is another character from the story.
Boys can wear a king costume like the one pictured above. Draw on mustaches and beards, and they can also wear a crown.
Haman, the wicked man who wanted to kill all the Jews, is another male character from the story. His costume is mainly black (for evil), with a beard and a three cornered hat.
The traditional cookie eaten on Purim is hamantaschen. It is a triangular shaped cookie with a fruit filling. Hamantaschen costumes are sold online and very creative people can make their own.
No matter which costume for Purim you choose to wear, it is going to make the holiday a more festive one.