IN PICTURES: Purim: When Waiters Have Tails and Four-year-old Commandos Roam the Streets

Ultra-Orthodox children are not known as snazzy dressers, but come Purim and suddenly they're a riot of color and imagination. Enjoy some of the best.

AFP

Purim in Israel – a time when your restaurant waiter may well have purple hair and a long tail and four-year-old commandos with massive guns roam the streets.

A time when secular kids dress like Hassidim, Hassidic kids dress like Batman and even the children of African asylum seekers whoop and dance their way through the streets of south Tel Aviv.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews and costumed children read the book of Esther at a synagogue in Bnei Brak on Wednesday.

The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.

Purim is the only time of the year that it's acceptable to dress weirdly, act stupidly and even get blind drunk – all in the festive spirit.

Happy Purim to all!