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Jewish children in Brooklyn dress up in colorful costumes as they celebrate festival of Purim

Jewish people living in Brooklyn dressed up to celebrate the festival of Purim on Thursday night.

The festival commemorates the survival of the Jewish people who had been marked for death in ancient Persia. 

One custom is to drink until you cannot distinguish between the story’s hero and its villain.

In Israel, even adults go to work wearing costumes and dress up to go to the synagogue.

This year, some services in New York City were held outside or under tents and heat lamps as the coronavirus has led to many religious gatherings being held in limited numbers. 

Last March, as coronavirus struck the Big Apple, doctors began to see an exponential rise in daily cases in the Orthodox Jewish communities most of which were propelled by communal gatherings for Purim.

Orthodox communities in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, three neighborhoods with large Hasidic populations, were hit particularly hard as the pandemic first hit the United States last March.

In 2020, Purim-related parties coupled with heavy drinking saw the virus spread rapidly coming before restrictions were put in place. 

This year, the celebrations were toned down somewhat with far fewer people out on the streets, but that didn’t stop some using the opportunity to drink alcohol out on the streets, dance on top of cars and with one another maskless, in a clear break of social distancing guidelines. 

Jewish men ignore social distancing to drink in the streets as they celebrate the festival of Purim on Thursday night

Jewish men ignore social distancing to drink in the streets as they celebrate the festival of Purim on Thursday night

Jewish men ignore social distancing to drink in the streets as they celebrate the festival of Purim on Thursday night

Orthodox Jews partied in Brooklyn as they celebrated the festival of Purim

Orthodox Jews partied in Brooklyn as they celebrated the festival of Purim

Orthodox Jews partied in Brooklyn as they celebrated the festival of Purim 

Youngsters wearing orange hats danced around in the streets without masks

Youngsters wearing orange hats danced around in the streets without masks

Youngsters wearing orange hats danced around in the streets without masks 

Jewish boys wearing quirky hats paraded through the streets as they celebrated the 2,500 year old festival

Jewish boys wearing quirky hats paraded through the streets as they celebrated the 2,500 year old festival

Jewish boys wearing quirky hats paraded through the streets as they celebrated the 2,500 year old festival

It is typical for people to dress up into all manner of costumes as they celebrate the festival

It is typical for people to dress up into all manner of costumes as they celebrate the festival

It is typical for people to dress up into all manner of costumes as they celebrate the festival 

Children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York celebrate the festival of Purim which began at sunset on Thursday evenging

Children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York celebrate the festival of Purim which began at sunset on Thursday evenging

Children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York celebrate the festival of Purim which began at sunset on Thursday evenging

Pirates appeared to be a popular theme this year as kids appeared to relish the chance to dress more informally than normal

Pirates appeared to be a popular theme this year as kids appeared to relish the chance to dress more informally than normal

Pirates appeared to be a popular theme this year as kids appeared to relish the chance to dress more informally than normal

One little girl seemed to enjoy dressing up together with a beard as she followed in her father's footsteps

One little girl seemed to enjoy dressing up together with a beard as she followed in her father's footsteps

One little girl seemed to enjoy dressing up together with a beard as she followed in her father’s footsteps 

One youngsters looked to be dressed up like a rocket man with a creatively arranged costume as he walked the streets

One youngsters looked to be dressed up like a rocket man with a creatively arranged costume as he walked the streets

One youngsters looked to be dressed up like a rocket man with a creatively arranged costume as he walked the streets 

A couple of boys grabbed hold of their swords and stuck a pose as they had fun on Thursday night

A couple of boys grabbed hold of their swords and stuck a pose as they had fun on Thursday night

A couple of boys grabbed hold of their swords and stuck a pose as they had fun on Thursday night 

Celebrations this year are due to be more reserved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Celebrations this year are due to be more reserved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Celebrations this year are due to be more reserved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

This young man's costume in Stamford Hill  in London from 2020 couldn't help but poke a little fun during the festivities

This young man's costume in Stamford Hill  in London from 2020 couldn't help but poke a little fun during the festivities

This young man’s costume in Stamford Hill  in London from 2020 couldn’t help but poke a little fun during the festivities

People participate in an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim on Thursday

People participate in an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim on Thursday

People participate in an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim on Thursday

Many Purim events and celebrations were canceled or scaled back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Many Purim events and celebrations were canceled or scaled back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Many Purim events and celebrations were canceled or scaled back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

People wear costumes during an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim

People wear costumes during an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim

People wear costumes during an outdoor reading of the Megillah during the Jewish holiday of Purim

Children in religious communities such as those in Brooklyn are allowed to dress up for school and attend costume parties. 

The festival is celebrated on the 14th of the Hebrew month Adar and it widely believed to be the most joyous day on the Jewish calendar.

Aside from dressing up Jewish people celebrate by listening to the Book of Esther which tells the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. 

The plot was discovered by Esther, who helped to defeat the evil advisor to the Persian king, Haman. 

Men were seen opening drinking alcohol on the streets of Brooklyn on Thursday night

Men were seen opening drinking alcohol on the streets of Brooklyn on Thursday night

Men were seen opening drinking alcohol on the streets of Brooklyn on Thursday night

A party bus hangs a banner in support of former U.S. President Donald Trump as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim

A party bus hangs a banner in support of former U.S. President Donald Trump as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim

A party bus hangs a banner in support of former U.S. President Donald Trump as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim

Those celebrating the festival worse some imaginative costumes during a celebration on Thursday night

Those celebrating the festival worse some imaginative costumes during a celebration on Thursday night

Those celebrating the festival worse some imaginative costumes during a celebration on Thursday night

Young Jewish men took time to blow off steam despite being in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

Young Jewish men took time to blow off steam despite being in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

Young Jewish men took time to blow off steam despite being in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic

A person holds a cell phone as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the borough of Brooklyn

A person holds a cell phone as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the borough of Brooklyn

A person holds a cell phone as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the borough of Brooklyn

Smoke effects are used to create a mystical atmosphere during Purim festivities

Smoke effects are used to create a mystical atmosphere during Purim festivities

Smoke effects are used to create a mystical atmosphere during Purim festivities

Flamboyantly dressed Jewish men are pictured on the streets  of Williamsburg

Flamboyantly dressed Jewish men are pictured on the streets  of Williamsburg

Flamboyantly dressed Jewish men are pictured on the streets  of Williamsburg

Brooklyn youngsters got together and danced around in a circle while celebrating Purim

Brooklyn youngsters got together and danced around in a circle while celebrating Purim

Brooklyn youngsters got together and danced around in a circle while celebrating Purim

The marshmallow man looked slightly out of place surrounded by a group of Orthodox Jews

The marshmallow man looked slightly out of place surrounded by a group of Orthodox Jews

The marshmallow man looked slightly out of place surrounded by a group of Orthodox Jews

This boy seemed to enjoy dressing up as photographer as he came face to face with our own snapper on the street!

This boy seemed to enjoy dressing up as photographer as he came face to face with our own snapper on the street!

This boy seemed to enjoy dressing up as photographer as he came face to face with our own snapper on the street!

It's popular for children to dress up like royalty with the story of Purim revolving around a king and queen

It's popular for children to dress up like royalty with the story of Purim revolving around a king and queen

It’s popular for children to dress up like royalty with the story of Purim revolving around a king and queen 

Two kids managed to pull off the police officer look to perfection as they strolled through Williamsburg with their father

Two kids managed to pull off the police officer look to perfection as they strolled through Williamsburg with their father

Two kids managed to pull off the police officer look to perfection as they strolled through Williamsburg with their father 

Kids of all ages dress up for the festival. One girl was dressed as a witch while their siblings looked to be a fox and a clown

Kids of all ages dress up for the festival. One girl was dressed as a witch while their siblings looked to be a fox and a clown

Kids of all ages dress up for the festival. One girl was dressed as a witch while their siblings looked to be a fox and a clown 

Two boys were caught crossing the street as they carried the heads to their bear costumes in their hands

Two boys were caught crossing the street as they carried the heads to their bear costumes in their hands

Two boys were caught crossing the street as they carried the heads to their bear costumes in their hands 

An all out pretend battle between royalty and pirates with plastic swords appeared to break out on the streets of Williamsburg

An all out pretend battle between royalty and pirates with plastic swords appeared to break out on the streets of Williamsburg

An all out pretend battle between royalty and pirates with plastic swords appeared to break out on the streets of Williamsburg

One youngster showed off their costume as they dressed up as a fox

One youngster showed off their costume as they dressed up as a fox

One youngster showed off their costume as they dressed up as a fox 

One little boy held out his sword as he mischievously marched through Williamsburg on Thursday evening

One little boy held out his sword as he mischievously marched through Williamsburg on Thursday evening

One little boy held out his sword as he mischievously marched through Williamsburg on Thursday evening

Probably the best explanation as to why costumes are worn on Purim is because Esther masqueraded as a non-Jew and dressed up as a queen to unveil the plot against her people.

The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice: once in the evening and again the following morning.    

The evening before Purim, Jewish people do not typically eat or drink, but during the festival they enjoy a lavish feast together with wine. 

Drunkenness is usually discouraged by Jewish law but it is considered a mitzvah – religious duty – to drink alcohol on Purim although followers are still expected to perform all other duties of the festival. 

A special food is also eaten for the Jewish holidays including hamantaschen, a sweet three-cornered pastry filled with poppy seeds or jam. 

According to the tale, Haman’s ears were cut off as a part of his punishment. The cookies eaten on Purim, called Humentaschen, translate to ‘ears of Haman’. 

In previous years, the mood has been far more jovial with excited parents and children all taking part in the religious celebration dressed up as cowboys, princesses, and mad scientists as they headed to synagogue for parties and prayer services. 

A Rabbi reads from the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

A Rabbi reads from the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

A Rabbi reads from the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

A woman follows along with the reading of the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday upon which the festival is based

A woman follows along with the reading of the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday upon which the festival is based

A woman follows along with the reading of the Book of Ester to celebrate the Jewish holiday upon which the festival is based

Tzipora Laub, left, speaks to her father through a window as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

Tzipora Laub, left, speaks to her father through a window as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

Tzipora Laub, left, speaks to her father through a window as people celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Brooklyn

Eliyahu Jacoby, 6, dresses as a Power Ranger as he prepared to listen to a special service to celebrate the holiday

Eliyahu Jacoby, 6, dresses as a Power Ranger as he prepared to listen to a special service to celebrate the holiday

Eliyahu Jacoby, 6, dresses as a Power Ranger as he prepared to listen to a special service to celebrate the holiday 

This year, many services are taking place in outdoor tents due to the coronavirus pandemic

This year, many services are taking place in outdoor tents due to the coronavirus pandemic

This year, many services are taking place in outdoor tents due to the coronavirus pandemic 

Aaron Laub wears a Viking costume as he prepared to listen to the Book of Esther at a Purim service in Brooklyn

Aaron Laub wears a Viking costume as he prepared to listen to the Book of Esther at a Purim service in Brooklyn

Aaron Laub wears a Viking costume as he prepared to listen to the Book of Esther at a Purim service in Brooklyn

A man reads from the Megillah (scroll) of Esther as his children follow along

A man reads from the Megillah (scroll) of Esther as his children follow along

A man reads from the Megillah (scroll) of Esther as his children follow along 

Two girls dress up convincingly as bakers as they celebrated Purim in Williamsburg on Thursday evening

Two girls dress up convincingly as bakers as they celebrated Purim in Williamsburg on Thursday evening

Two girls dress up convincingly as bakers as they celebrated Purim in Williamsburg on Thursday evening 

The regal theme runs throughout many of the costumes seen during the Purim celebrations

The regal theme runs throughout many of the costumes seen during the Purim celebrations

The regal theme runs throughout many of the costumes seen during the Purim celebrations 

A man is pictured walking quickly across the street in Williamsburg just before sunset when the festival starts

A man is pictured walking quickly across the street in Williamsburg just before sunset when the festival starts

A man is pictured walking quickly across the street in Williamsburg just before sunset when the festival starts 

A Jewish man can be seen walking with his children while wearing at  shtreimel, a fur hat worn by some Jewish men

A Jewish man can be seen walking with his children while wearing at  shtreimel, a fur hat worn by some Jewish men

A Jewish man can be seen walking with his children while wearing at  shtreimel, a fur hat worn by some Jewish men

As the sun sets the festival begins. A religious Jewish man's top hat and beard are silhouetted against the dusk sky

As the sun sets the festival begins. A religious Jewish man's top hat and beard are silhouetted against the dusk sky

As the sun sets the festival begins. A religious Jewish man’s top hat and beard are silhouetted against the dusk sky

During previous years the Purim celebrations have been far more upbeat with parades and large gatherings often held. 

New York City’s health department have long been watching the neighborhoods where Orthodox communities live.

Cases started rising in August with most attributed to the large weddings held in many Orthodox communities, particularly in Borough Park and Williamsburg. 

Jews across New York City celebrated the traditional festival of Purim this week, which started on Wednesday and ended Thursday evening

Jews across New York City celebrated the traditional festival of Purim this week, which started on Wednesday and ended Thursday evening

Jews across New York City celebrated the traditional festival of Purim this week, which started on Wednesday and ended Thursday evening

The evening before Purim the Jewish people fast. Then on Purim there is a grand feast, children dress in costumes and exchange sweets, and all gather at synagogues for to hear the ancient story of Queen Esther. Pictured in 2019

The evening before Purim the Jewish people fast. Then on Purim there is a grand feast, children dress in costumes and exchange sweets, and all gather at synagogues for to hear the ancient story of Queen Esther. Pictured in 2019

The evening before Purim the Jewish people fast. Then on Purim there is a grand feast, children dress in costumes and exchange sweets, and all gather at synagogues for to hear the ancient story of Queen Esther. Pictured in 2019

This little boy strutted down the streets in his genius homemade popcorn costume, complete with a popcorn covered cap, Pictured in 2019

This little boy strutted down the streets in his genius homemade popcorn costume, complete with a popcorn covered cap, Pictured in 2019

This little boy strutted down the streets in his genius homemade popcorn costume, complete with a popcorn covered cap, Pictured in 2019

Thumbs up! These boys gave a cheeky thumbs up to photographers amid the craziness of Purim, pictured in 2019

Thumbs up! These boys gave a cheeky thumbs up to photographers amid the craziness of Purim, pictured in 2019

Thumbs up! These boys gave a cheeky thumbs up to photographers amid the craziness of Purim, pictured in 2019

Families were seen walking to synagogue with presents and in fun costumes for the special holiday, pictured in 2019

Families were seen walking to synagogue with presents and in fun costumes for the special holiday, pictured in 2019

Families were seen walking to synagogue with presents and in fun costumes for the special holiday, pictured in 2019

Mini me! A proud father dressed as an officer and his son dressed as a cop saluted cameras as they walked through Brooklyn, pictured in 2019

Mini me! A proud father dressed as an officer and his son dressed as a cop saluted cameras as they walked through Brooklyn, pictured in 2019

Mini me! A proud father dressed as an officer and his son dressed as a cop saluted cameras as they walked through Brooklyn, pictured in 2019

Strike a pose: Adults joined in the costume fun as well to mark Purim, a jolly festival for the Jewish people, pictured in 2019

Strike a pose: Adults joined in the costume fun as well to mark Purim, a jolly festival for the Jewish people, pictured in 2019

Strike a pose: Adults joined in the costume fun as well to mark Purim, a jolly festival for the Jewish people, pictured in 2019

Arg! This little boy was spotted in Brooklyn on Thursday dressed as a pirate for Purim

Arg! This little boy was spotted in Brooklyn on Thursday dressed as a pirate for Purim

This child echoed the Wild West with his cowboy costume

This child echoed the Wild West with his cowboy costume

All smiles here! These two little boys couldn’t contain their excitement and went all out with their costumes as a frightening pirate and a gleeful cowboy from the Wild West, both pictured in 2019

This vibrant trio was spotted in Brooklyn on Thursday dressed as a pineapple, strawberry and a cheerful clown , pictured in 2019

This vibrant trio was spotted in Brooklyn on Thursday dressed as a pineapple, strawberry and a cheerful clown , pictured in 2019

This vibrant trio was spotted in Brooklyn on Thursday dressed as a pineapple, strawberry and a cheerful clown , pictured in 2019

Children dressed up in fun costumes like this boy dressed as a mad scientist. Pictured in 2019

Children dressed up in fun costumes like this boy dressed as a mad scientist. Pictured in 2019

Children dressed up in fun costumes like this boy dressed as a mad scientist. Pictured in 2019

THE MEANING BEHING THE STORY OF PURIM 

The Jewish holiday Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from a plot intended to wipe them out.

The story, which is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther, tells the tale of how an advisor to King Ahasuerus named Haman planned to kill all the Jews, only for his wicked plot to be thwarted by the king’s wife Esther and her adoptive father Mordecai. 

Haman had selected a day on which he would annihilate the entire Jewish population and had sent out a decree bearing the King’s seal, ordering that every Jewish man, woman and child be killed.

But Esther – who had been chosen as Ahasuerus’s wife by taking part in a beauty contest and concealing the fact she was Jewish – later convinced the King to send out a new decree allowing the Jews to rise up and defend themselves – thus saving their lives. 

The story is read out in synagogues while children traditionally get dressed up as Esther, or the King.

In the synagogue they are given football rattles and noisemakers to drown out Haman’s name.

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Source: Daily Mail |World News

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