Purim, festival of lots, is a noisy, riotous holiday that celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther who saved the Jews from the wrath of the evil Haman (boo, hiss!). When the story of Esther is read, it is customary to make lots of noise whenever the name Haman (boo, hiss!) is mentioned. Traditionally, Jews exchanged presents at Purim, not Hanukkah. Some families still observe the custom of exchanging gift baskets, mostly filled with edible treats. It is also customary to eat triangle-shaped pastries known as Hamentaschen (yum!) Try it!
Making a Purim mask fills part of the "Art to Wear" Try-It.
Passover, an eight-day holiday, celebrates the story of the Exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery. During the eight days, we refrain from eating leavened bread in remembrance of the flat bread (matzos) eaten by the Israelites when they escaped from Egypt.
Visit the Billy Bear Pesach Page
Ribit! Grasshoppers and frogs were two of the ten plagues of Egypt. Can you name the other eight?
Passover begins the counting of the Omer to harvest and Shavuot. If you like the Simpsons, you may enjoy the counting of the Homer. D'oh!
Shavuot the feast of weeks which celebrates the first harvest and also the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. It is a holiday dedicated to scholars and many Hebrew schools hold their graduations to coincide with Shavuot.
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Page last updated on Sept. 20, 2001.