Purim Quick Facts - AU

AKA NameFestival of lots
HashtagsCompiled on#Purim
Related Hashtags#ShabbatShalom, #BringThemHome
2024 Date23 March 2024
2025 Date14 March 2025


Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Purim -


Purim History

Purim highlights themes of unity, joy, and triumph over adversity, all of which are drawn from the biblical Book of Esther. Central customs involve the reading of the Book of Esther (Megillah), the gifting of food to friends (mishloach manot), donations to the poor (matanot la'evyonim), and the feast of Purim (seudat Purim).

Purim commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman’s plot to eradicate them, as recorded in the Book of Esther. Within Australia, Purim resonates profoundly among its Jewish community, particularly for its themes of survival and resilience in the face of oppression. These narratives echo the experiences of many who sought refuge in Australia during the turbulent 20th Century. Moreover, for a country rich in cultural diversity like Australia, Purim provides an opportunity for an enriched understanding of Jewish heritage and traditions.

Purim in Australia is observed through public readings of the Book of Esther, dressing up in costumes, and vibrant communal gatherings. While the participation in events may vary across different Jewish communities, the spirit of joy, unity and giving remains universal. In Sydney, Melbourne and other cities with significant Jewish populations, you'll often find lively Purim street parades, carnivals and performances, with delicious traditional foods like hamantaschen (a triangular filled pastry). Purim typically falls in late February or March, depending on the Hebrew calendar.

Facts about Purim

  • Purim is considered to be a joyous holiday often accompanied by celebrations, plays, festive food and costume parties.
  • Purim holiday is often preceded by fast, referred to as the Fast of Esther. This fast commemorates Esther's three days of fasting in preparation for her meeting with the king. The fast is observed from dawn until dusk on the eve of Purim.
  • The story of Purim is told in the book of Esther, which is also known as "the Scroll" (Megillah in Hebrew).
  • The "Purim Shpiel" is a traditional part of Purim observance, where the story of the Book of Esther is acted out or performed. In Australia, it has become a popular event in which Jews of all ages participate, bringing the community together in a festive atmosphere.
  • The Hobart Synagogue, built in 1845, is the oldest synagogue in Australia. Each year, the synagogue hosts lively Purim celebrations, including a communal reading of the Megillah (Book of Esther), feasts, and costume parties.

Top things to do in Australia for Purim

  • Make a Mishloach Manot (also known as mishloach manos or shalach manos). This is a gift of at least two kinds of food that are ready to eat. Give them out to neighbors, friends and associates.
  • Make Hamantaschen cookies. These are pocket triangle shaped cookies that are often made with fruit, poppy seed or cheese filling.
  • Participate in Matanot LaEvyonim: The giving of gifts to the poor is a key mitzvah (commandment) of Purim. Many synagogues and Jewish community centers organize community-wide collections and distributions for this purpose.
  • Read a book to learn more about Purim in Australia:
    The Jewish Festivals: From Their Beginnings to Our Own Day - by Hayyim Schauss: Understanding the backgrounds and traditions of various Jewish festivals.
    Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays: Passover, the Omer, Shavuot, Tisha b'Av - by Paul Steinberg: Even though it doesn't exclusively focus on Purim, it gives a good understanding of Jewish holidays, traditions and rituals.

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