|Hamantaschen from Smitten Kitchen|
Because passover is so late this year, Purim is pretty late too. (Oh lunar calender.) The past few years its been in early February! Usually I make Hamantaschen, which always come out looking like disgusting misshapen lumps with brown goo in the middle (I make mine with a poppy seed filling) nothing near as nice as the ones pictured from Smitten Kitchen, I'll have to try her recipe. But this year I was so busy for St.Patrick's day that I didn't have time to make hamantaschen. *tear*
Side note: google thinks that the correct spelling of hamantaschen is "Schenectady". Also that Barack should be Bareback... hot.
Any-who. Purim is a festival day in the Jewish year where we're glad that Esther stood up to her non-jew king husband and prevented the killing of thousands of jews. Basic version of the story is that Esther wins a beauty pageant given by the king, she doesn't tell him she is jewish. Next, her uncle, Mordecai, exposes a plot to kill the king and is rewarded by being made prime minister. Haman is jealous and orders him killed, the king doesn't know about how Mordecai uncovered that plot so he is ok with killing him, and all the jews in the kingdom. Eventually the king finds out about Mordecai's good deeds, and the king asks Haman how he should reward a man who is so good, Haman thinks he is talking about him, so he says all sorts of lavish things, and the king tells him to give those to Mordecai. Esther then reveals that she is jewish and that if all the jews are killed she will be killed too, so Haman is hung, and the jews are allowed to fight back because the king can't take back the original decree.
Moral of the story: the king is kinda flaky, Esther is the hero for saving all the Jews, anti-semites get mad at one guy and want to kill all Jews, and Haman is an asshole.
Purim is usually celebrated with a pageant reenacting this story, obviously in greater detail, drinking, singing and eating, and with costume parties, because this is the time the Jews got saved and didn't get exterminated or run out of a country. Yay!
You can celebrate today by making Hamantaschen, reading the story of Esther (its in the Bible!), or telling a friend about an awesome holiday where people dress up in costumes, drink, eat cookies, and yell when the name Haman is mentioned.