Why Dress Up on Purim?
In the book of Esther, it is written that the Feast of Purim would be recognized and observed at a specific time each year so “that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city…” (Esther 9:28).
One way of recognizing and observing is to dress up on Purim!
The story of Purim is about Esther, an orphan girl who marries a king and becomes queen. This sounds like a fairytale. In reality, it is God’s story of deliverance for the Jewish people. There are many spiritual truths in this story. There are also opportunities to sow seeds of hope and teach the next generation about our Great Deliverer.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”—Psalm 18:2
When Believers dress up on Purim, they are saying…
- “I will rejoice with gladness. Deliverance is made possible through Yeshua.”
- “I will seek my identity in Yeshua.”
- “I have the heart to know my Lord and my spiritual heritage.”
- “I will fight against the enemy and his anti-Semitic plans.”
- “I will teach and speak of God’s glory to the next generation.”
So then, how are these statements revealed in the lives of Believers who dress up on Purim? We will take a look at these statements and make decrees with each in the 5 Reasons to Dress Up on Purim section below.
But first, let’s discover where the custom to dress up on Purim comes from…
The Custom to Dress Up on Purim, Where Did It Come From?
The act of dressing up to observe Purim is not directly referenced in the Bible. However, the Jewish tradition is alive and well, allowing a retelling of Esther’s story so “that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants” (Esther 9:28).
- The miracle of Purim is not always seen as a miracle, but rather as a series of natural events that delivered the Jews from their enemy, Haman. Although these events appeared to be coincidental, they were actually divinely orchestrated. The miracle-working God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob used natural events to save His people. Therefore, the custom of dressing up for Purim is related to divine miracles hiding beneath what is seen in the natural.
- Another custom of Purim is to give to the poor. Click HERE to read more about the significance of this custom.
When everyone—young or old, rich or poor—dresses up for Purim, there is no shame or embarrassment. It is customary to wear masks, long robes, and even flowers wrapped around your head or shoulders. It is a way for all to enjoy the feast with gladness and joy without worrying about daily life.
- Lastly, dressing up on Purim is a way to commemorate Esther’s position as queen and Mordecai being clothed in King Ahasuerus’ royal garments.
“So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.”—Esther 8:15-17
5 Reasons to Dress Up on Purim
These five reasons are not to be taken as legalistic but rather as a way to connect to the Father’s heart. He has the heart to deliver us—from death for eternity and from the bondage of sin today!
You don’t have to dress up on Purim, but consider these reasons and allow the Spirit to guide you into a greater understanding of how God works through ordinary people and events to manifest His glory.
Declare His sanctifying work over your life today.
- “I Declare That I Will Rejoice with Gladness!”
As Believers, we know we are delivered and redeemed through the blood of Yeshua. Therefore, we can (and should) be rejoicing continuously (see Philippians 4:4-8).
When we dress up on Purim, it is to be a joyous celebration. We remember how the Lord does not change—and just as He delivered His people then, He delivers us today. When you dress up on Purim, decree: “My lips shout for joy in You, Lord. My soul sings praise to You, my soul You have redeemed!” (Psalm 71:23)
- “I Declare My Identity in Yeshua!”
Queen Esther, though keeping her identity hidden for a time, never lost sight of her identity. She was given a crown, and Mordecai was given garments of fine linens. The colors of blue, white, and purple that Mordecai donned signified royalty.
In Yeshua, we have been given robes of righteousness. He is the bridegroom and we, as His Bride, are adorned with jewels (see Isaiah 61:10).
When we dress up on Purim, we can hold fast to the promise that it is Yeshua’s righteousness that covers us.
When you dress up on Purim, decree: “I rejoice and give glory to Yeshua. I am His Bride, clothed with fine linen, bright and pure!” (Revelation 19:7-8)
- “I Declare My Heart is to Know You, Lord, and to know My Heritage!”
When you understand your spiritual heritage, you know your Heavenly Father. The Feast of Purim and the story of Esther are part of every Believer’s spiritual heritage. The Bible expresses the importance of knowing the genealogy of Yeshua. You have been grafted into that family!
When you dress up on Purim, decree: “My heart is to know You, the true God, and Yeshua whom You have sent. I declare that Your Spirit creates within me a clean heart, and You will reveal Your heart to me when I seek You!” (John 17:3, Psalm 51:10, Jeremiah 29:13)
- “I Declare God’s Protection over Israel. The Enemy Will Be Defeated!”
The story of Esther and the celebration of Purim is truly a story of God defeating the Haman-spirit, an anti-Semitic spirit that was out to destroy the Jewish people.
Dressing up on Purim signifies to the people of Israel that you stand with them, you will fight with them against their enemies, and they have a right to exist according to God’s Word.
When you dress up on Purim, decree: “Israel is the apple of my Father’s eye. The Lord will not leave nor forsake His people. I decree that peace covers Jerusalem and the people will prosper!” (Zechariah 2:8, Psalm 122:6)
- “I Declare God’s Glory to the Next Generation!”
God tells us in His Word to tell the next generation of His good works. He often makes this statement during appointed times on His calendar. This is because His appointed times are associated with His Spirit being on the move for His people.
He does not want us, or the next generation, to miss out on what He has for us!
Dressing up on Purim allows grandparents, parents, and children to join together and recall the ways God has rescued, redeemed, and restored us. It is a time to sow seeds of hope into the next generation.
When you dress up on Purim, decree: “Oh how great are the works of the Lord! Your thoughts run deep. The Lord’s ways are always higher. I will submit to His ways because they are good!” (Psalm 92:5, Isaiah 55:8-9)
Purim is a time of rejoicing. When Believers dress up on Purim, they make a statement that they seek the One True God and stand with Israel.
Purim is an opportunity to tell God’s story of deliverance to the next generation. Enjoy the time with your family, feast together, receive rest from your enemies, and trade sorrow for joy.
Seek the good of God’s people and speak peace to all (see Esther 10:3), for the Lord is on the move!