Purim in Australia

Quick Facts

Purim commemorates a time when Jewish people were saved from death around the fourth century BCE, according to the Book of Esther.

Local names

NameLanguage
PurimEnglish
PurimGerman

Purim 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purim 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
List of dates for other years

Many Jewish communities in Australia celebrate Purim to commemorate the Jewish people’s deliverance from death around the fourth century BCE, as told in the Book of Esther. Esther was a queen who helped stop the villain Haman’s plans to kill Jewish people.

Purim is usually celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Adar in the Jewish calendar, which is in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. According to many sources, the celebrations begin at around sunset on the 13th day of Adar, while other sources mention that Purim is observed on the 15th day of Adar.

Hamentash-cookies

Some food baskets that are exchanged during Purim may include a special pastry known as hamantash, or hamantasch.

©iStockphoto.com/sterling_photo

What do people do?

Purim usually begins with the reading of the Megilla (or Megillah), which refers to the story of Esther, in the synagogues for many Jewish Australians. Graggers, which are Purim noisemakers, are used to drown out the name of the villain Haman when the story of Esther is read, particularly to children. Various types of graggers or other noisemakers, including clappers, are sold in Australia prior to Purim.

Purim parties involving all generations of Jewish people are held in both urban and rural Australia. Purim gift baskets are also exchanged. These baskets may include pretzels, chocolates, other types of candy, and clappers. Many Jewish people donate to charity around this time of the year.

Public life

Purim is not a public holiday in Australia so public offices, schools, many businesses and transport systems are open or operational.

Background

The history of Australia’s Jewish settlement can be traced back to the first fleet that landed in Sydney, Australia, in 1788. The fleet included about 14 Jewish people. Australia’s history is made up of Jewish pioneers and achievers, such as General Sir John Monash, a well-known leader who contributed to Australia’s heritage, and Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first Australian-born Governor General.

Jewish Australians continue to comprise a rich cultural mix in Australia’s modern society, where their achievements are recognized and synagogues, museums, paintings and sculptures that celebrate Jewish culture and heritage are appreciated. Festivals such as Purim are celebrated among Jewish communities in Australia. Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a Jewish woman called Esther.

About Purim in other countries

Read more about Purim.

Purim Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunMar 111990PurimJewish holiday 
ThuFeb 281991PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 191992PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 71993PurimJewish holiday 
FriFeb 251994PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 161995PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 51996PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 231997PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 121998PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 21999PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 212000PurimJewish holiday 
FriMar 92001PurimJewish holiday 
TueFeb 262002PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 182003PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 72004PurimJewish holiday 
FriMar 252005PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 142006PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 42007PurimJewish holiday 
FriMar 212008PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 102009PurimJewish holiday 
SunFeb 282010PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 202011PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 82012PurimJewish holiday 
SunFeb 242013PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 162014PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 52015PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 242016PurimJewish holiday 
SunMar 122017PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 12018PurimJewish holiday 
ThuMar 212019PurimJewish holiday 
TueMar 102020PurimJewish holiday 

Other holidays in March 2014 in Australia

Advertising

Other calendars

Related links