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It's Purim 2016!

Purim will soon be here.

Let's take a look at this Old Testament biblical story and the names it inspires.

A wonderful mix of costumes, carnivals, parodies, booing the villain, and hamentashen cookies makes Purim one of the most joyous of holidays.

As told in the Book of Esther, in the 4th century BCE, the King of Persia, Ahasuerus (Achashverosh) marries the beautiful Esther (Hadassah) after banishing his wife, Queen Vashti, for failing to appear before him.

When the king's prime minister, Haman convinces the king to issue a decree to kill the Jews of the kingdom after Mordechai (Esther's father-like cousin) refuses to bow to him, Esther reveals to the king her Jewish identity, and tells him of Haman's plot against the Jews.

The king repeals the decree and the villain Haman and his sons are hanged on the gallows that were originally prepared for Mordechai.

No longer keeping to characters from the story, today people dress up in all sorts of costumes from generic clowns and clowns like Marcel Marcaeu, and Lucille Ball, to comic heroes like Clark Kent, and Betty Boop, to popular characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, James Bond, Lara Croft, Jack Sparrow, Morticia, and Micky and Minnie mouse.

Happy Purim 2016!