Purim Dressing Up Area
If you are a frequent museum visitor you may have noticed that many museums have a children’s dressing up area. At the Museum of Liverpool children can dress up as staff or passengers of the Liverpool Overhead railway which used to run through the docks. At the museum in Clitheroe castle children can dress up as lords and ladies, merchants or peasants. What better way could there be to get children interested in History?
MJM decided that we also should have a dressing up area for children but what sort of costumes could we make available? Yom Tov hats throughout the decades? Overalls worn by factory workers in the waterproofing industry? Finally we came up with the brilliant idea of having a dressing up area to celebrate the great Jewish festival of dressing up, which is Purim.
For those of you who don’t know, Purim celebrates the time when Queen Esther saved the Jewish people in Persia from destruction at the hands of the evil Haman. Haman, who had great influence with the King Achashveros, was plotting to kill all the Jewish people. In the end Haman ended up being killed instead. In the story of Purim right up until the last moment it had seemed that God was going to allow the Jewish people to be destroyed. It seemed as if there was going to be a catastrophe but it turned out to be a blessing. This is one of the reasons Jewish people disguise themselves on Purim.
For our dressing up area we decided to have costumes designed for Queen Esther, King Achashveros and the wicked Haman. The outfits are displayed in front of panels explaining the story of Purim. The bright and colourful outfits are proving to be a big hit with our young visitors. (Even some teenagers have attempted to try them on, although this is not something we want to encourage.)
Queen Esther’s crown came in very useful recently, when it was used by members of staff who were preparing themselves to meet the Queen at a lunch at the Town Hall!!!
The Curator here is really pleased that our latest interactive installation is really engaging our young audiences.