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Purim in Australia

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. It's 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.

Is Purim a Public Holiday?

Purim is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

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.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuMar 5PurimJewish holiday
2016ThuMar 24PurimJewish holiday
2017SunMar 12PurimJewish holiday
2018ThuMar 1PurimJewish holiday
2019ThuMar 21PurimJewish holiday
2020TueMar 10PurimJewish holiday
2021FriFeb 26PurimJewish holiday
2022ThuMar 17PurimJewish holiday
2023TueMar 7PurimJewish holiday
2024SunMar 24PurimJewish holiday
2025FriMar 14PurimJewish holiday

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