Monday, March 20, 2006

Purim Festival 2006

I woke up quite late Tuesday last week, at around past 12 Noon – when I remembered that I had to mail some letters and postcards to family in Manila. Well, they have yet to receive anything coming from Israel. Everyone's raring to get anything, even if only one picture!

Just great! I thought I could spend the whole afternoon at the Yafo Port (where I enjoy my spare hours with my bike). Now I had to rush to the nearest Post Office. I took a quick bath after a few minutes of turning on the heater. Seeing the leftover Shawarma on the table, I decided to take some bite. On second thought, the sandwich (always a delicious treat for me..YUMMY!) tasted inexplicably much better than yesterday that I finished everything off.

There is one Post Office ten or so blocks from the apartment -- just along Yerusalaym Street. I managed to get there at 1.15 PM, but it was already closed.

Half-day on a regular day? Very unlikely..

I then proceeded to another Post Office, the one along Dizengoff Street. It was a good several kilometers away... still I decided that I would walk – I definitely need the exercise!

As I went along the way, I noticed some people in costumes – mostly women and children. One lady and the child she was tagging along (apparently her daughter) were both wearing Mickey Mouse outfits. Others are wearing clown and similarly outlandish costumes, masks and wigs.

It took me all these to realize that it was Purim. A Jewish holiday, they say Purim is the most festive and joyous of all the holidays here in Israel. Luckily for me, there was a parade that afternoon at the Dizengoff area.

I decided right there and then to just enjoy the parade and have a hamantaschen (Hamantaschen is a cookie triangle in shape and with fillings. It represents Haman’s 3-cornered hat).

It is my first Purim, so I would not pass up the chance on somehow having a taste of the festivities. I can always take care of my mails some other day.

(Purim commemorates the victory of the Jews living in Persia (modern Iran) over oppression and extermination. The account of Purim is found in the Book of Esther. Purim is the Hebrew term for “lot” – the lottery that Haman, evil advisor to the King of Persia, used to select the date for the massacre of the Jewish population in Persia. Queen Esther, being Jewish, revealed to the King his advisor’s plot against her people. This angered the King and ordered the execution of Haman.)

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