For many, the Jewish holiday of Purim can't exist without two major things: hamantashen (three-cornered cookies with a variety of fillings) and costume parties.
Though this lesser-known (to non-Jews) holiday, which this year runs from sundown March 11 to sundown March 12, it’s actually a great springtime festival to start celebrating -- after all, it’s basically the Jewish Mardi Gras.
Many Purim parties include costumes, masks and plenty of dancing, so grab your favorite crazy outfit and head to these events this week and weekend to celebrate the holiday of Queen Esther.
Purim Carnival: Central, a bar and lounge located in Queens' Ditmars-Steinway neighborhood, is hosting an Israel-themed party for the holiday. Enjoy music and performances from Israeli singer Harel Moyal and DJs Gil Peretz and Yoni Dvir for a night of music and dancing. (20-30 Steinway St., 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., $30, eventbrite.com)
Night of a Thousand Faces: Costumes are mandatory at this all-night party at Bushwick's House of Yes. The event space, known for its crazy soirées, will live up to its reputation with a Purim party complete with a makeover beauty parlor, body painting and, of course, plenty of hamantashen to go around. (2 Wyckoff Ave., 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., $20 to $25, eventbrite.com)
The Purim Ball: Rooftop bar 230 Fifth is hosting a costume party for young Jewish professionals, with Megillah (Book of Esther) readings taking place every 30 minutes from 9 to 11 p.m. Guest DJs will be on hand for the party, which will also feature a buy one, get one drink special from 9 to 10 p.m. (230 Fifth Ave., 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $10 to $40, eventbrite.com)
Purim Party at Hinterlands Bar: This neighborhood-style bar, located in Brooklyn's Prospect Park South, is celebrating the holiday, complete with a potluck, costumes and carnival games, all to raise money for local nonprofit, Make the Road New York. (739 Church Ave., 6 to 11 p.m., free, facebook.com/events)
Purim Carnival: If you're looking for a family-friendly event that's not located in a bar, the Kings Bay Y in Brooklyn is hosting a holiday carnival, complete with food, music and giveaways. Snack on complimentary hamantashen while enjoying rides, games, face painting and more. (3495 Nostrand Ave., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., free, facebook.com/events)
Purim Dance Party: Manhattan’s Hudson Terrace is hosting an all-ages Purim celebration, featuring dancing, eats, a costume contest and giveaways. Guests can enjoy an open juice bar throughout the party, as well as a Megillah reading at 3 p.m. (621 46th St., 2:30 to 6 p.m., $10 to $25, nightout.com)