Purim And The Chinese Lantern Festival

This week we’re celebrating two fun holidays at Mama Lisa’s World…

Purim
Sunset 2/25/21 to Sunset 2/26/21 (14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar)

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Our correspondent Joanie Calem wrote us about the Jewish holiday Purim.

“Purim is a holiday that comes in the Hebrew month of Adar, which is generally in February or March. Purim celebrates the story of the Jewish people of ancient Persia as told in the Book of Esther, (Megillat Esther) in the Tanach, the Hebrew Old Testament.

In the story, the Jewish people are saved by Queen Esther from a murderous plot against them. It is a dramatic story, and Esther is brave and heroic, and she and her uncle Mordechai are well-respected characters in the story.

Purim is a fun holiday, with a few different traditions. Children dress up in costumes, and often act out the Purim story in plays called Purimspiel. People make special cookies, called hamentaschen, which are triangle shaped cookies that are filled with sweet fruit, poppy seeds, or chocolate. They are triangles, because supposedly Haman (who is the evil character in the story) wore a triangular hat. Everyone shares cookies with their friends, and prepares plates of sweets and fruit (mishloach manot) to give to both their friends and the poor.

Traditionally, the book of Esther is read aloud in synagogue and at Purim parties, and every time the name of Haman (remember, he’s the bad guy) is mentioned, the audience all yells, boos, and shakes noisemakers, called groggers in Yiddish, or Ra’ashanim in Hebrew. It is also a very musical holiday for that reason!”

You can read more about Purim here, including more from Joanie and a recipe for Hamantashen.

Here’s our Purim Song Page.

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The Lantern Festival In China

2/26/21 (15th day of the first Chinese lunar month)

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The Lantern Festival marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. People go outside with lanterns, watch the dragons dance, set off firecrackers, and eat Yuan Xiao dumplings. (Yuan Xiao is also called Tang Yuan.)

You can find a recipe for Yuan Xiao here.

Learn more about the Chinese New Year here.

This article was posted on Sunday, February 21st, 2021 at 4:10 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Israel, Mama Lisa, Purim, Purim Songs, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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