Let’s Celebrate! Our Purim Party Ideas
Chag Purim sameach! Freilichin Purim! Happy Purim!
Come March, the sun is up, the snow is melting and the air feels ripe for celebration, which coincides beautifully with Purim! Purim is a joyful Jewish holiday commemorating the saving of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire, as recorded in the Book of Esther. Unlike some of the more somber religious holidays, Purim is a time for feasting, dancing, drinking and general fun and games. As specialty caterers, we’ve seen many a Purim party. Before making a Purim menu, here’s a little explanation:
Purim = BOLD colors
The story of Purim (read it if you get a chance!) is one of the more riveting, dramatic stories in the Bible, and your Purim party decor can and should reflect that. Think tables decked out in bold table linens—purples and blues are popular choices—and filled out with ample candlelight. For a less formal, more kid-friendly setup, we love colorful paper mache strands and balloons!
Sights and Sounds
Purim can also be a masquerade of sorts! Many children and some adults (come on, live a little!) will don festive costumes to celebrate. This practice stems from the way the divine nature of story is “disguised” as natural events. Also, dressing up is FUN, and Purim is all about the merrymaking. Every good Purim party, especially those with kiddos in attendance, includes Groggers (wooden noisemakers).
Sharing the love
On Purim, we also practice giving mishloach. Traditionally, folks would send Purim gift baskets to one another, as well as give to the less fortunate as an act of charity. Nowadays, those celebrating just exchange gifts with one another at the party, as well as give to the less fortunate. It’d be a good idea to ensure every individual or couple at your party has a gift to give and a gift to accept. And don’t forget the kids!
Queen Esther’s Eats
It’s commonly accepted that while Esther was held captive, she maintained a vegetarian diet to abide by the law of kashrut (adhering to kosher-style meals). To honor her dedication, many families choose to serve a meatless meal at their Purim celebrations. Esther also had to fast, so many fast the day before Purim—celebrating the day of with a breakfast or brunch isn’t a bad idea! Bagels and lox, please!
Purim Menu Notes
As with other religious holidays, many celebratory dishes have a symbolic significance. As we noted above, Esther’s vegetarian diet serves as inspiration—the mains can be based around vegetables, legumes and grains. Also, the story takes place in Ancient Persia, so persian flavors such as pistachio, citrus and saffron are more than welcome. Dates and poppyseeds are Purim-approved, too. The customary dessert, hamantaschen, is a folded triangular pastry with a sweet filling in the center, exposed through the top of the shape. The three-pointed shape appears in more than one way on our menu, as it represents evil Haman’s three-pointed hat, and we’re celebrating his downfall along
Bagels (sliced in half)
Plain, Sesame, Onion, Poppyseed
Whipped Cream Cheese, Whipped Veggie Cream Cheese
Bermuda Onion, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Olives, Capers
Craisins, Thinly Sliced Bermuda Onion
Hard Boiled Eggs
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Warm Three Corner “Hat” Savory “Haman” Pizzas
Hamantashen dessert: Poppyseed, Plum, Chocolate, Prune and Apricot