Purim is the only time a boy or girl can walk down the street with face paint, Mickey Mouse ears, or a pink cowboy hat and this is considered ok and even the slightest bit mandatory. This is what I love about living in Israel.
I had the privilege this year of celebrating two very different Purims in two very different cities.
Purim in Tel Aviv happened on Saturday night, February 27, though I only went out Friday night.
That didn’t stop me from hearing the noise on the streets–people yelling, screaming, celebrating, loud firecrackers going off–even when I was in the house.(Guess that’s what you get from living on Dizengoff.)
In Tel Aviv, I was a girl from the Eighties!
I may just look like Madonna on acid! Hey, it’s Purim!
I celebrated in my favorite bar with my best friends in Tel Aviv and the place was crowded with costumes–pirates, bumblebees, a caveman, Lady Gaga, flappers, and more.
Purim in Jerusalem stars on Sunday night, February 28, but I headed there for a party and Purim seudah on Monday, March 1.
For those that don’t know, Purim occurs in Jerusalem one day later then the rest of Israel because some of the cities in Persia where the story of Esther and Haman occurred celebrated one day later then others. One city, Shushan, celebrated a day later and wanted to honor Jerusalem as a holy city in their celebration (No one was living in Israel at the time.) Thus, Jerusalem has come to celebrate Purim one day later than everyone else in the country. How’s that for special?
I celebrated Purim in Jerusalem by visiting the Western Wall and celebrating with a religious family I know from New Jersey who lives in the neighborhood of Ramot. Because they are quite observant, I respectfully followed their rules of modesty and made sure my outfit included a skirt and that my elbows and collarbone were covered.
I was a gypsy. Luckily, rules of strict black and white didn’t apply here but I did make sure that my elbows, knees, and collarbone were covered.
(PS You don’t see it in this picture but I made sure to wear a white shirt under the red peasant shirt to respect those rules of modesty.)
While Tel Avivians do have their family seudah (holiday meal) on Purim and make customary gift bags (mishloach manot) for friends and family, much of the atmosphere for twentysomethings was focused on going to clubs and partying.
Quite different from the Jerusalem atmosphere where people were milling the streets but parties happened inside the home. Surprisingly, I didn’t see too many people dressed up on the streets (in comparison to Tel Aviv) and later learned this was maybe because 1) A lot of people keep their costumes for the home and 2) much of the Haredim don’t dress up at all.
The thing that sets my outfits apart from others is–I used all of my own clothes. I bougth maybe one or two accessories for each but the basic outfits came from my own closet. Though, I would never NEVER wear them in daily life the way I put them together here.
The white shirt with the face is from Castro. The face is a little loud so I usually top it with a cardigan.
The pink mesh tank is usually worn over something black. I have a black mesh tank in the same color and usually I layer the two (pink underneath, black on top) for a cool effect. Tank is from H&M
Leggings are from American Apparel. They are very statement-making so I usually wear them with long black boots to throw off the bright colors.
The red peasant top is actually a tunic and I love to wear it with leggings. It’s from Alloy.
The black skirt is the most gypsy-ish I could find. I borrowed it from my roommate.
I covered the skirt with scarves in the mismatched nature of a gypsy. The purple animal print (not very gypsy, mind you) is Inbal Gvili. Other scarves were from Israeli stores Castro and Profil.
When in doubt, search your own closet!