Most of us have precious few reasons to play dress up and get blotto in public at the same time. Halloween comes close, but its attendant alcohol acts more as liquid courage for your “sexy” whatever costume than a cherished tradition. St. Patrick’s Day tries, too, bringing even more booze, but further dwindling your dress up options to sexy leprechaun, beer maid, or bishop. Only Purim truly does right by the classic combination of disguising and imbibing.
Purim is the celebration of Esther, a Jewish queen from the Bible who saved countless lives when she thwarted her evil husband’s plot to kill all the Jewish people in the land. Now, we honor the queen at joyful festivities in the late winter/early spring each year. The traditions are simple: It’s a mitzvah, Hebrew for a godly commandment, for Jewish folks to get drunk on Purim. Readings from the book of Esther anchor many fêtes. And since Queen Esther had to conceal her Jewish identity, it doesn’t hurt to dress up in a costume, either.
This year, Purim proper falls on squarely in the middle of the week on Wednesday, March 20 -- a time not typically associated with revelry. But there are parties happening clear through the weekend, so you can get as much or as little mileage of that topical getup as your school night schedule allows at the best Purim parties in NYC.