Ready To Celebrate: Purim 2022



The Jewish holiday of Purim, which is filled with costumes, stories, celebrations, treats and shenanigans, begins on the evening of Wednesday, March 16th and runs through Thursday, March, 17th. As a side note, the combination of St Patrick’s Day and Purim makes for one epic party!

If you are interested in learning more about the history/story of the holiday of Purim and traditions, please check out my post from a few years ago. I also highly recommend checking out PJ Library’s Purim Hub that is filled with information and ideas to celebrate the holiday.

Today, I want to focus on three easy ways to incorporate Purim into your week a little differently this year, whether you have always celebrated the holiday or you want to expose your kids to other cultures/religions for the first time.

A non-traditional Purim story:

The original Purim story begins with Queen Vashti as she is banished from the kingdom for being unwilling to dance for the king and his friends. In the traditional telling of the story, Vashti is just a brief introduction, leaving the opening for the heroine, Esther, to come in and save the Jewish people.

However, we should not pass Vashti by so quickly. Her part of the story gives us the opportunity to have conversations about feminism, independence and self-respect. That is why I am so happy that there is a more recent Purim book that focuses on Queen Vashti and her refusal to obey the King. Queen Vashti’s Comfy Pants is a funny, but poignant take on this Purim character. It is a story your kids will enjoy, but also gives a framework to discuss some of these important topics.


A new twist on hamantashcen:

In my original post, I shared by Grandmother’s hamantaschen recipe, which I will include again at the bottom of this post. Traditionally, hamantaschen are filled with fruit preserves, chocolate, or poppy seed pie filling. However, don’t let the traditional hold you back. First of all, since it is St. Patrick’s Day, it would be fun to add green food coloring to the dough. I also love to add sprinkles to part of my dough.

For fillings, I have started to get creative over the years. A new favorite in my house are the s’mores hamantaschen with chocolate and marshmallow as the filling and crushed graham cracker sprinkled on the outside. Are you a Reese’s fan? You can stick one in the middle of your hamantaschen and just let it melt into deliciousness. Another fun spin on this holiday treat is a Pop Tart hamataschen, taking the more traditional fruit filling and adding some white icing to the top. Yum! Have fun with this as you create your own new family favorites.

Purim Carnivals are Back!

Ok, so Purim Carnivals are not new, and many of the games are the same from when we were children. However, my last post about Purim was published on March 5, 2020. Little did I know that attending my synagogue’s Purim carnival was one of the last things I would do for a very, very long time. And now, it is one of the first things I will do again in a larger, public setting. So, while not new, they are once again new to us.

These events are geared towards young children. They involve dressing up in costume, games, bounce houses, food, and a fun sense of community. Most of the synagogues in the area host some version of a Purim Carnival, so I recommend contacting the one that is closest to you (and for many, you do not have to be a member of the synagogue to attend). To get you started, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has a list of some of the local Purim events.

My Grandmother’s Hamantaschen Recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix dry ingredients
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Cut in softened butter (1/2 cup)
  • Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Mix until the dough forms a ball — add extra flour as needed
  • Roll the dough out until it is 1/4 inch thick
  • Cut into circles (I use the top of a glass)
  • Add the filling into the middle of the circle (don’t overfill or it will pop open in the oven)
  • Pinch the sides of each circle into a triangle
  • Bake for about 15 minutes (check it periodically)