In every form of celebration or festivity, one of the distinctive manners to commemorate the day is through wearing costumes and masks because it exemplifies the real essence of the celebration as it mirrors and emulates the true account and story behind that day.
Purim Costumes-The Dominant Attraction
Wearing of different kinds of costumes and masks is one of the entertaining ancient Jewish customs during the celebration of Purim. In Israel, children and even adults are so excited for the coming of Purim holiday because it is observed with extravagance and the carnival-like atmosphere excites them the most. Street parades particularly in Tel Aviv are unconventional and parties and costumes are all over the land of Israel where people of all ages are vivacious in rejoicing for the triumph they had over their mischievous-enemy, Haman.
Significance of Purim Costumes
The dressing up in these beautiful costumes, particularly by kids and youngsters marks the day of deliverance of the Jews and the miracle of their divine rescue from the evil plot emerged by Haman to eradicate the entire nation of the Jews. The nation where he once thought is powerless and scattered and dispersed among other people, is the one that has brought judgement to him.
Purim Costumes – Emblematic View
Purim costumes and masks are worn to disguise one self’s identity from the people around him or her. People in disguise wearing these costumes symbolizes what God did, who disguised His presence behind the natural occurrences in the story of Purim. It also implies what Esther did in concealing her true Jewish identity to Xerxes I, King of Persia, which consequently played the vital role in their deliverance.
Purim Costumes Origin
If you are to walk on the streets of Jerusalem or of any town that observes Purim, shops and boutiques are displaying different kinds of beautiful costumes for adults and children, colourful masks and accessories to be used for masquerades are exhibited in the window glass of the store. According to history, the earliest record of dressing up a costume in Purim was in the 15th century where an Italian Rabbi and scholar, Mahari Mintz wrote that it is permitted for a man to wear a woman’s dress and the other way around to keep their identity veiled. It appears that this custom is already established in that period.
Relevance of Purim Costumes to the Jews
The Purim costumes worn in this holiday will give us a more intricate value, which says, the entire miracle of Purim is clothed and veiled in the natural happenings. Though there is no unequivocal mention of God’s divine intervention in the story, yet He is clearly orchestrating things according to His divine purpose.
The custom of wearing Purim costumes during the Purim Holiday is a very exceptional way of the Jews to remember the victory they had conquered from their mischievous and wicked and evil archenemy, Haman. They realized that God can use any natural circumstances to pull off what He has promised. It is a great day for the Jews, especially for kids to rejoice and be merry and celebrate with masquerades and costume parties along the entire streets of Jerusalem. This is a custom that has been remembered and kept by every single generation which captures the attention of other surrounding countries.