Come Purim time in Tel Aviv, the streets are packed with carnivals, parties, and all types of costumes. Here are a list of words and phrases you need to understand for the funnest & craziest holiday in Israel.
1. “Until he doesn’t know”
The name for Israel’s Purim ‘carnival’ comes from the three words עד לא ידע, which means “until he doesn’t know.” The reference comes from religious roots, specifically a story that instructs man to “mellow himself” (understood as drinking alcohol) until he doesn’t know the difference between the “cursed” and the blessed”.
Keywords to know: עִדְלְאֵידָע
Translation: Purim carnival
2. Haman’s ears
Nicknamed “Haman’s ears” (after the Purim story antagonist), these triangular cookies are filled with all sorts of goodness. Our favorites are poppy, chocolate, and Lotus butter.
Keywords to know: אָוזְנֵי הַמָּן
Transliteration: oz-ney hah-mahn
Translation: Homentashen (Purim cookies)
3. The really annoying noise makers
As if Tel Aviv didn’t have enough noise already, Purim invites us to make as much noise as possible with these “groggers.”
Keywords to know: רַעֲשָׁן
Translation: noise maker
4. The costume you’ve been working on since last year
It’s no secret Tel Aviv brings out the best costumes in everyone.
Keywords to know: תַּחְפֹּושֶׁת
5. When the parties don’t fit inside, take them to the streets.
Purim may be only one day, but the parties last all week long, including house parties, street parties, rooftops, and the infamous Ad-Lo-Yada (“until he doesn’t know”) street party.
Keywords to know: מְסִיבַּת רְחוֹב
Transliteration: meh-see-bat reh-chov
Translation: street party
6. When you want to go all out
Because no costume is complete without great makeup.
Keywords to know: אִיפּוּר
7. The must-have costume accessory
Honestly, the wig is a costume in and of itself.
Keywords to know: פֵּאָה
8. When you don’t want people to recognize you at all
Masks are another easy way for a crazy costume.
Keywords to know: מַסֵּכָה
9. “Grandma’s hair”
Cotton candy in Hebrew literally translates to “grandma’s hair,” which is a bit unsettling when you think about it.
Keywords to know: שְׂעָרוֹת סָבְתָא
Transliteration: seh-are-ot sav-tah
Translation: cotton candy
10. When someone’s costume just isn’t clear
Throwing on old clothes from your closet isn’t a costume, honey.
Keywords to know: לְהִתְחַפֵּשׁ
Translation: to dress up
11. Whose costume will win?
Which costume artist will take this year’s best costume?
Keywords to know: תַּחֲרוּת תַּחְפּוֹשׁוֹת
Transliteration: tah-chah-root tach-poh-sot
Translation: costume contest
12. The time of year when being drunk in public is acceptable
As always, drink responsibly.
Keywords to know: שִׁיכּוֹר (m), שִׁיכּוֹרה (f)
Transliteration: shee-kor (m), shee-kor-ah (m)