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Posts Tagged ‘jewish holidays’

What is Purim? A Time For Joy and Giving

01 Mar

What is Purim?

For many people, Jewish holidays are shrouded in an air of mystery, and Purim – since it’s lesser known among non-Jewish people – can be even more enigmatic. It can be intimidating or awkward to figure out the best way to approach someone and ask what their holidays are all about. So, we’re here to shed a bit of light on Purim: a holiday that you may have never heard of, and certainly, have some questions about.

Purim Celebration Decorations

 When Is It Celebrated?

First, Jewish people celebrate Purim on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. This year, that falls on March 11th and will go into March 12th.  The holiday remembers a time when Haman, King Ahasuerus’ vizier, plotted to destroy the Jewish people. But Esther, the King’s wife – who was Jewish – unraveled the plot, and saved them. This story is recorded in the Book of Esther. While celebrating Purim, people read this book twice during the celebration.

With its history, you’ll be surprised to know that Purim is one of the most colorful holidays in the Jewish tradition. In fact, imagine a carnival filled with your loved ones – it’s a lot like that. Family feasts include delicious pastries, and everyone celebrates together. The holiday’s timing for the holiday adds to the festive feel, too. Purim Masks and Decor In many countries, spring is coming; many families like to enjoy part of their celebrations outside. In the US, it’s tax season, and many families have a little bit of extra money they can use to indulge in the feasting and parties.

How do People Celebrate Purim?

That extra money is very helpful, since two of the traditional ways to celebrate the holiday revolve around giving. First, it is customary to exchange gifts with your loved ones. The most popular gifts during Purim include kosher foods, sweets, and drinks. This tradition is called “mishloach manot,” and it’s a great way to appreciate the people you love. The second important tradition is to donate to the less fortunate. This tradition is called “mattanot la-evyonim” in Hebrew. You can the way you like: from volunteering time, to donating food or money to your favorite charity.

Purim is about celebrating the fortune you have, and sharing that wealth, love, and happiness with those around you. This explains all of the really fun events. Friends and family gather for feasts and to read the Torah together. They drink wine, wear colorful masks, dress in (sometimes extravagant) costumes, and perform Purim plays (often retelling the story of Esther).  Plus, the skits don’t have to be religious. You can dress up as your favorite hero, or character if the event is casual. Purim is a time for family fun with a serious message of gratitude and remembrance.

In the spirit of Purim, if you get a gift this March, then consider sending one back. Even if you’re not celebrating this holiday, it is always just nice to return generosity with another act of kindness. To stay true to Purim, make sure your gifts are kosher, delicious, and made to share. Gourmet gift baskets or sweet assortments are the perfect things to send to a family to help them enjoy this holy day. And if we’re honest food is always a welcome surprise!

Cupcakes | Kosher Gifts for Purim  Kosher Variety Gift Basket

 
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Top Hanukkah Gift Ideas 2015

02 Dec

The bright eight day Jewish festival of Light, Hanukkah, is almost here. Starting this year on Dec, 6 it commemorate the triumph of light over darkness and spirit over material. Each night of the long festival Jewish people light a candle on a special nine-branched menorah candelabrum and sing holiday songs or play games while watching them burn. Other Hanukkah traditions include spending time with dear ones and sharing Hanukkah gifts with family, friends, and business associates.

Gourmet & Wine Gifts

Because of the great significance of oil in the history of the holiday it is customary to eat oily foods. Special potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts and many other dishes fried in oil are particularly enjoyed during Hanukkah. An excellent pairing for classic holiday dishes is wine. From light soft burgundy wines full of creamy fruit flavors with fresh acidity and dry white wines with delicate sourness that balances the taste and a pleasant finish, to full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon there’re plenty of choices to choose from.

 

Kosher & Fruit Gift Baskets

There are few gifts given for any holiday in the Jewish calendar that you can’t go wrong with and kosher baskets are one of them. They are not only healthy and nutritious but also delicious and full of vitamins. Usually presented in a wooden box or stylish keepsake hamper they are filled to the brim with both fresh and dried fruit, crunchy roasted nuts, gourmet cheeses, vegetable spread, homemade bread and cookies, honey, jam, assortment of organic teas and so much more. If there are foodies on your list don’t hesitate to send a flavorful gift that will have something for everyone to enjoy either at a home gathering with family or at an office party with business associates.

 

Sweets & Chocolate Baskets

If you’re looking for a Hanukkah gift for little recipients or those with a sweet tooth go for something extra sweet and delicious. Beautifully presented in a keepsake basket, festive paper box or bright gift tower your surprise will include the whole assortment of all time favorites. Dark and milk сhocolates of different flavors, fresh сookies, candies, as well as more healthy choices like halva (a Middle Eastern confection made of sesame flour and honey), dried fruit, honey and more delicious treats to any taste.

 For more Hanukkah gift ideas please visit www.GiftBasketsOverseas.com