The Purim holiday was celebrated throughout Israel on Wednesday evening and Thursday, with costumes, parades, gift-giving, and the traditional reading of the Scroll of Esther.
Parties and parades took place throughout the country, as the lively festivities — commemorating the biblical tale of an averted genocide of the Jews in the Persian empire some 2,500 years ago — kicked off.
In Israel, many cities throw parades to mark the festivities, while others celebrate with large meals with friends and copious amounts of alcohol.
Jerusalem and several other cities began their festivities Thursday evening, as part of a tradition that maintains that certain ancient walled cities mark the holiday a day later.
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