Purim, the most joyous date on the Jewish calendar, will be celebrated by Chabad of Southern Minnesota on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 25-26) at the downtown Rochester Hilton.

The daylong holiday commemorates the nullification in 256 B.C.E of a Persian decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire, as told in the biblical book of Esther.

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It will be celebrated locally with COVID-safe versions of the traditional observances.

In addition to the mitzvot (duties) of the holiday, the traditional custom of dressing up in costumes and masks recalls the miracle of Purim that was disguised in natural events. While mask wearing is encouraged at the celebration each year, this year, it will be mandatory due to the pandemic.

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The event is being held at Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area, 10 E. Center St.

Preregistration is required. Choose your time slot (time slots are limited to two families max in a 3,000-square-foot room; there are three rooms available). Pick up a mishloach manot (gift) box for yourself and one to send to a friend.