If a Jew has ever been jealous of a Christmas tree or an Easter egg hunt, think of Purim as the time the tables are turned. It’s the holiday that hinges on fun — and lots of it. Treated as the Jewish equivalent of Halloween, when you pull on a costume and take part in all kinds of, ahem, “revelry,” Purim marks a celebration of the Jews rising above the villainous ruler Haman during biblical times. Beyond all the partying, ringing in this holiday also calls for the baking of Hamentaschen: triangular pastries filled with traditional poppy seeds or jam. The name harks back to Haman himself, and each doughy pastry signifies the corners of his hat (or, depending on whom you talk to, his ears or his pockets).
Whether you’re Jewish or not, fold up your own filled cookies in honor of this joyous holiday, and remember that the custom of gifting food (mishloach manot) is a big one on Purim, so bake enough for fellow revelers — or co-workers, teachers and friends.