Ahead of this year’s Purim celebrations, which commence in the evening of Monday, March 6, we take a look at some festive greetings.
Purim is observed annually on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar. It commemorates the survival of Jewish people in Haman, who were marked for death by Persian rulers, with the story being relayed in the Book of Esther.
Every year, Jewish communities around the world enjoy this holiday by eating a celebratory meal, doing charitable acts or giving donations, as well as exchanging gifts of food and drink called mishloach manot.
Let’s take a look at how to say some festive Purim greetings if you’re participating in the holiday this year.
What greetings should you say on Purim?
The traditional greeting on Purim is “happy Purim.” This translates to chag Purim sameach in Hebrew. This phrase literally translates to “happy Purim holiday” as “chag” translates to “holiday” in English and “sameach” to “happy.”
You will hear the words “chag sameach” said on many Jewish holidays.
The pronunciation of chag Purim sameach is KHAG poo-REEM sah-MAY-akh. You can listen to some examples of the pronunciation below:
How to say Purim greetings in Yiddish
Yiddish is a historical Jewish language, over 1,000 years old. It is spoken by between 1-2 million people worldwide. Last year saw Unesco put Yiddish on the definitely endangered languages list, given its rarity.
While Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language, Yiddish belongs in the Germanic language family. It incorporates many languages including German, Hebrew, Aramaic, as well as various Slavic and Romance languages.
Thus, the Purim greeting in Yiddish is entirely different to the one in Hebrew. To wish someone a ‘Happy Purim’ in Yiddish, one would say ah freilichen Purim. This is pronounced as FRAY-likh-en POO-rim.
What is the meaning of Purim?
While you may have heard the name of this celebration time and again, you might not know what the word actually means.
The word Purim translates to “Lots” in Hebrew. Roughly, it means the Feast of Lots.
It is believed that the word “Pur” finds its origins in Persian languages. As written in the Book of Esther, this word means a “lot.” Purim is then the plural of the word “Pur,” becoming “lots.”
In other news, Best Nowruz quotes upholding 3,000 years of Persian New Year traditions