Per usual, this Jewish holiday comes with its own fast... and its own symbolic snack.
Because that's how they roll.
The Fast of Esther is typically a minor fast that commemorates Esther's fast before she met with the king. It is used as a time to pray for their nation and people, not unlike Esther herself did.
The book of Esther is read in the synagogues and it's not uncommon for Jews to boo or hiss when the name of Haman is read...the purpose is to blot out his name. I remember the first time I attended a Purim service, it sort of caught me off guard.
Purim rolls into Israel much like Mardi Gras arrives in New Orleans, in fact it is sometimes referred to as the Jewish Mardi Gras. It's customary to dress up , perform and in general - party. According to Talmudic law, a person should drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai." Religious Jews will explain that the drinking should bring spiritual enlightenment to those who are able to attain it, but I think that conveniently got overlooked by most others...
Anyways. Here in Jerusalem, shops are bursting with cheap costumes and masks and the shuk boasts fresh hamantaschen from every bakery. Kurt and I toyed with the idea of dressing up as the man in the yellow hat and Curious George (I'm the monkey), but in the end he got an elephant hat and I have a masquerade mask with a feather. (the feather is important, adds flair)
Maybe next year...Chag Purim Sameach!