Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday celebrated with storytelling, costumes, and the making and giving of gifts. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all.
But Purim is worth knowing. It celebrates the story of Queen Esther outwitting the evil Haman, a story that has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim carnival activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story. (And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!)