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Halloween 2.0? Purim in Tel Aviv

March 10, 2018

"Thought I saw you in the Parrot's Beak, but it was only a lookalike." Arctic Monkeys
 

Last week was the holiday of Purim in Tel Aviv. Purim here is like Halloween on steroids (everywhere, everyone, all weekend long, celebrates) minus the ghoul and fright elements and trick or treating, plus cookies in the shape of triangles (Hametashen) filled with poppy seed, nutella, pistachio and other treats. They're called hammentashen and are pretty delicious though not as good as the fried doughnuts or sufganiot of Hanukka, but then again, I don't get to dress up on Hanukkah, so maybe Hanukkah can have its doughnuts. 

 

On Purim people A. dress up and B. party.  For three days and nights pretty much everyone you see when you’re walking around outside is dressed up as something else, so the streets become a happy with a funny alternate reality of sorts, like alice in wonderland if Alice was just catching a cab or eating some falafel nonchalantly, and the whole world around her was some character from some other world——the young professionals dressed up riding the electric bikes to work (rabbits, pirates, and lots and lots of black cats and leopards); the kids on the way to school (Harry Potters, princesses, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). It’s three days when everyone has at least one party lined up where they’re going to dress up as something: there’s work parties, street parties, school and kindergarten parties, club parties, just parties. The first year I was here for Purim I even saw a kiosk put out a folding table and a strobe light and sell 10 shekel shots during Purim.

 

Boyfriend and I didn’t have any definite plans, but we didn’t need them. We just stepped outside, started walking, and found fun to be had plus plenty of people watched .I’d say this year the most creative costume I saw was a girl dressed as a rabbit. If you looked closely she had an open stab wound on her chest, stabbed, it seems, by a carrot which was still attached to her wound. Morbid, I know, but creative.

 

I spent the weekend as a black cat. "Miau."

 

 There was a large street party that practically turned into a low key rave with people all dressed up.

 

Pretty much everywhere we looked people were dressed up, and what I most loved about it was the sense of whimsy in the air, as if it was perfectly normal to see Waldo playing ice hockey with Mr. Red Riding Hood at a club (yes, Pasaz club has an old-fashioned arcade room, even if it is in some need of repair).

 

 

Even the city dressed up, like this statute which is normally just copper but dressed up as ice-cream scoops (full disclosure, I took this photo Purim last year and didn't have a chance to check out the statute this year to see if it was still ice-cream or decided to come as something else this year.) The lobby of my office dressed up as well. As did most of the rest of the offices and lobbys I saw. Yes, even inanimate objects get in on the fun. 

 

 

We saw a pride of penguins about to meet two unicorns.

 

 

The guy from UP had to fill up his balloons at a local kiosk. And this guy was at a big street party we went to, a mix of unicorn, bunny and biker chic perhaps?

 

 

 Even the devil took a break from partying to chill at a bench with her friends. 

 

And at the end of the day as the clown family went home, and Ursula seemed pleased with the day. 


As for me, I went home and took a long, long nap. But not before I ate one more hammentashen, cat ears still on, of course. 

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