While Catholics are busy observing Lent, Philly’s Jews are prepping to celebrate one of the religion’s most light-hearted holidays, Purim.
The story of Purim tells the tale of Esther, a woman who had been made queen by King Ahasuerus, though he didn’t know she was really Jewish. Esther’s uncle Mordechai discovers a plot to assassinate the king while the evil Haman, the king’s advisor, obtains a degree to have all the land’s Jews killed.
To make a long story short, Esther is able to get the decree reversed, her uncle becomes the prime minister, and Haman meets his end on the gallows. Lots of celebrating ensues.
Often, Purim parties include carnivals, dressing as the story’s characters and the baking of Hamantashen, tri-cornered cookies that are intended to mimic the shape of the hat of the story’s villain, Haman.
At the Marathon Grill in Washington Square (929 Walnut St.), Philly will celebrate the holiday in its own way—with a night full of music and merriment that will feature the West Philadelphia Orchestra and the Rag Tag Tribal Belly Dancers. The event is hosted by the Jewish Graduate Student Network, but you need not be Jewish or a grad student to stop by and have a good time.
Show up in costume or bring canned goods to donate, and $5 gets you in. Too shy to dress up (or can’t find that perfect Esther dress)? Cover is $10.